Applying for Entry-Level Finance Jobs? Increase Your Odds with These 8 Tips

Applying for Entry-Level Finance Jobs? Increase Your Odds with These 8 Tips

If you will be graduating soon or are a recent finance grad, finding an entry-level finance position might be difficult, especially if you don’t have work experience. Earlier this year, Georgetown University released a study that compared the unemployment rates of different majors.

While the study didn’t discuss finance majors specifically, the researchers found that recent business major graduates with no work experience had an unemployment rate of 7.5 percent. On the upside, this is a bit lower than the overall rate for all majors, which was 7.9 percent. Just be glad you didn’t graduate with a degree in architecture – those recent grads with no job experience are looking at a 12.8 percent unemployment rate. Which leads us to our first tip.

1. Get work experience or an internship while you’re still in college. While it’s too late for recent grads, if you’re still in school, do your best to get some finance work experience under your belt. Business majors with work experience increased their odds of finding a job after graduation – the unemployment rate fell from 7.5 percent to 5.2 percent.

2. Go for an advanced degree or MBA. According to the Georgetown survey, business majors with graduate degrees improved their odds even further than those with an undergrad degree and work experience. The unemployment rate fell to 4.3 percent for advanced-degree holders. So for college grads seeking finance careers, that MBA will be worth the effort. It’s also going to help you earn a higher salary as we’ve discussed in previous posts.

3. Search for unconventional job titles. We also mentioned in previous posts that including keywords that you derive from job descriptions and building them into each resume and cover letter can help you get through applicant tracking systems. Think of the different words used in job descriptions, then think of the different options for job titles that employees might use, which might be out of the ordinary. You might find a hidden gem.

4. Tell everyone you know you’re looking for work. Employers like to hire people who have been referred to them. If your friends, family, former schoolmates or coworkers don’t know you’re looking, you could miss out on a great opportunity. Just make sure you sound excited not desperate when you spread the word. And don’t be afraid to ask people you know that you would appreciate introductions to their friends who work in finance.

5. Attend finance industry events. Again, you’re looking to make connections and there’s no better place than an industry conference (multiple events = multiple opportunities to meet people) or a networking event for finance-minded professionals.

6. Take finance pros out to lunch or meet them for an informational interview. Make a list of the firms or corporations where you would like to work, and try to connect with someone there who is either a hiring manager or on that same level. Pick up the phone, send a professional introductory email or connect with them LinkedIn. You need to be patient and persistent without being a stalker. Make it your goal to build some small relationship or connection so you can get a lunch date or meeting face-to-face. Even if your new contact isn’t hiring anyone today, he or she might be in the future, or they could know someone who is hiring now.

7. Leverage your LinkedIn profile for all it’s worth. If you haven’t signed up for LinkedIn yet, do it today. This top professional social site is a great tool for making connections in the finance industry and marketing yourself online. You can learn how to optimize your LinkedIn profile in this earlier post.

8. Take advantage of finance industry-specialized recruiters and websites. Finance career job websites such as Doostang’s and recruiters who have connections in the finance industry can give you the edge and save you time. You can search top finance jobs by location on our site – and you won’t have to weed through other non-finance jobs. Plus we offer an assortment of helpful job search tools, designed especially for finance grads and MBAs. And if you make friends with recruiters who focus specifically on finance positions, they will let you know when the new openings occur in your field.

Want to learn more about the Georgetown unemployment study? View the Slideshare overview here:

Photo Source: Shutterstock

Resources:

Carnevale, A.P.; Cheah, B. “Hard Times: College Majors, Unemployment and Earnings.” Georgetown University, Center on Education and the Workforce; May 29, 2013. Available at http://cew.georgetown.edu/unemployment2013/. Accessed Nov. 22, 2013.

8 Social Media Blunders that Sink a Job Search

 Great Jobs on Doostang

Let’s say you are looking for a new job or a promotion at your current job.  If your prospective new boss pulls up your Facebook page, will he/she see photos of you drinking scotch from the bottle and a caption that says “Drink till you die”?  Or will your current employer see a post that reads: “I hate my job, the boss is a jerk!” on your Facebook page?

These days, social media can be a help or a hindrance to your job search. Social media sites are not hidden.

Anything you post is likely to be seen.  Most hiring managers search candidates’ online presence and that includes social networking. You will want to do the same.

A basic search of your name is a good place to start. What does the search reveal?  How deep are the results?

Do you find one or two pages, or one or two lines?  What does the search reveal about you? Remember, just because your Facebook posts don’t show up in the initial search doesn’t mean information posted there is inaccessible.  In fact, for some companies, that may be where the search begins. Be smart about your online presence and you will outsmart the competition.

1.  Wide Open Profiles.

This is the kind of mistake that makes the others mistakes relevant. Keeping a closed or mostly closed profile on your non-career social media sites while job searching is a good idea.

2.  Friend Requesting Your Interviewer.

Don’t send a friend request to your interviewer. Maybe your the type of person who friend requests everyone you meet. Maybe you think it will help your chances of getting the job. Unfortunately, friend requesting your interviewer is more likely to work against you, since very few of us will look more professional on facebook than in the interview.

3.  Inappropriate Language.

Remember your old English teacher’s admonition that you must pay attention to the written word?  That remains true for writing on the web.  Writing how you talk is not the best advice in the midst of your job search.  Think of any written communication as a tiny billboard communicating your assets to hiring managers investigating your online presence.  Inappropriate language definitely includes profanity, so clean it up to strengthen your job search.

4.  Non-PC Statements.

Your social media pages may feel protected or hidden from the general public, but as with anything on the Internet, once it is there, you lose all control of the information.  “Think twice and type once” might be a good reminder the next time you are posting.  Any Internet-based communication is open to the world and may be misconstrued.  Think about the last time you tried to tell a joke or explain a sensitive situation via email.  The recipient of cyber-messages may not interpret what was meant as a short-hand explanation in the same way you intended.

5.  Negative Comments about your Current Employer.

The supposed sanctity of social media sites can lead many people to develop a false sense of security. As mentioned, social media sites are not completely private.  If you are ranting about your current place of employment, the consequences of doing so “in print” are likely to be much more negative for you than the employer.  Hiring managers typically avoid anyone whose posts suggest a difficult disposition, rather than the appearance of a team player.

6.  Unflattering Photos.

Everyone knows drunken holiday party photos will sabotage your job search, but you should be cautious about the content of all photos you post.  Public displays of affection, nudity, or any documentation of “unusual” behavior are likely to halt successful job leads.  Check with your “friends” on Facebook as well to make sure there aren’t photos on their pages that may cast you in an unflattering light.

7.  Off-color humor.

The Internet is not the local bar or pub.  You’re not just making jokes with people who already know you well and will forgive slips of the tongue.  If negative comments are all that the hiring manager knows of you, you are likely to be seen negatively.

8.  Conflicts between your profile and resume.

Make sure there is no major differences between your career oriented social networking profiles, and your resume. This can be as simple as updating a former employer’s company name to its new name if it was changed. Check the details thoroughly on both, making sure the dates match, the company names match, and the responsibilities and accomplishments match

 

Don’t jeopardize your job search by ignoring potential negative impressions from your online presence.  Social media sites are routinely accessed as part of the screening process so get rid of any questionable photos or posts. Beware of social media blunders by taking a smart look at your online presence as if through the eyes of the hiring manager, and you can remove barriers to your next position.

 

Corporate Development – M&A Associate – Los Angeles, CA

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Universum Development Acquires Doostang, the Leading Global Career Network for Young Professionals

Adds Professional Networking to Company’s Employer Branding Platform

PALO ALTO, Calif., July 12, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Universum Development, mother company to Universum Group, the global leader in Employer Branding, announced today the acquisition of Doostang, the leading global career networking platform for young professionals.

Founded in 2005, Doostang is one of the largest career networking platforms for young business professionals in the world, with over 900,000 members.  Members join Doostang to get exclusive access to over 15,000 hand-picked positions with thousands of prestigious employers across finance and investment, consulting, media, and technology industries specifically targeting high-achieving students and graduates of leading academic institutions.

“We have been monitoring Doostang closely for a long time and now look forward to be able to contribute to their continued growth,” said Lars-Henrik Friis Molin, Founder and Chairman at Universum Development.  “Universum’s well established contacts and know-how within the space will be of great use to Doostang,” said Petter Nylander, CEO of Universum Group.

In addition to the transaction, Jeff Berger will join Doostang as their new CEO. Previously, Berger was the CEO and Founder of KODA, an Internet recruiting company based in San Francisco. “I’m excited about the opportunity to lead Doostang as it continues to grow as a leading professional destination online,” said Berger. “Doostang will provide an innovative social media solution to Universum’s 1000+ clients across the globe.”

Doostang members can access the Doostang community and their personal Facebook friend network to identify and leverage inside connections at the employers they want to work for. Unlike LinkedIn, Doostang does not charge employers to post jobs, allows its members to contact any other member for free, and automatically highlights any shared affiliation between individuals such as a common undergraduate university or former employer.  These social connections have proven invaluable to thousands of members who have successfully advanced their career on Doostang.

Chuck Taylor had been the CEO of Doostang since 2008 and will continue to work with Universum and its digital strategy. “The acquisition of Doostang is a great opportunity for the group to help further develop a strong online presence,” said Taylor.

Doostang is partnered with career centers at leading undergraduate and graduate business schools across the globe, as well as leading professional associations such as 85 Broads, a globally recognized network of trailblazing, career-minded, multigenerational women graduates and students of the world’s leading colleges, universities, and graduate schools. Doostang had raised capital from Shasta Ventures, a leading venture capital firm in Silicon Valley.

About Universum Group:

Universum AB, founded in 1988, is the global world leader in Employer Branding research, consulting, and media productions. They have offices in 10 countries and conducts research in over 40, in close collaboration with the top universities of the world.  www.universumglobal.com

About Doostang:

Doostang is an exclusive online career network that connects elite professionals with the most prestigious jobs.  Nearly a million young professionals from top universities and business schools are members of Doostang.  Companies using Doostang to recruit talent include top-tier employers Goldman Sachs, Bain & Company, Kohlberg Kravis & Roberts, Summit Partners, Google, Time Warner and Facebook. www.doostang.com.

Media Inquiries:

Jeff Berger – jeff@doostang.com
415-699-8652
Jonas Barck – jonas.barck@universumusa.com
858-405-5711

SOURCE Universum Development

Back to top RELATED LINKS
http://www.universumglobal.com

Accelerate Your Job Search with Social Media

By Alesia Benedict, CPRW, JCTC – GetInterviews.com

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If you haven’t noticed, social media has “grown up.” It’s one of the most effective ways to get your qualifications and resume in front of as many corporate eyes as possible. In addition to helping you expand the reach of your search, social media is also cost effective, measured only by the time you invest. Social media accelerates your job search exponentially, helping you reach far more people than traditional networking.

If you think about the concepts of branding and marketing yourself, social media is the ultimate tool for building your brand. You select what you want to highlight for potential employers and you control what values are emphasized in your social media presence. Think of social media as a huge networking opportunity and your online profile doubles as your calling card and your resume! Gaining more exposure creates additional opportunities. Social media is the key to opening the door to the hidden job market.

Engaging in a quick Internet search can yield hundreds of social networks, online communities, blogs, websites, and discussion groups for job seekers. In addition to posting on job boards and working with recruiters, social media networks such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter can significantly accelerate your job search. In case you aren’t convinced about the importance of social media in your job search, let’s examine a few specific benefits:

  1. Use of social media sites demonstrates your knowledge, skill, and familiarity with the capabilities of this current technology.
  2. Social media helps create your personal “brand.” You will become “known” to the individuals who read your profile without ever having submitted a formal resume.
  3. Social media is the ultimate networking tool, putting you in touch with individuals who are in a position to make hiring decisions about jobs that may never get posted. Better yet, an interest connection might be spurred to create a job for you based on your unique qualifications.
  4. Any of these sites can help you gain information about companies or industries of interest to you, making you an even more valuable candidate as you expand your knowledge and become known for your contributions.

Once you create a profile for yourself, you have to pay attention to it. You can’t expect the world to immediately come looking for you! The more active you are in social media networks, the more you establish a positive reputation for yourself. Don’t become discouraged if you don’t get immediate results. Building a professional network takes time.

You may want to avoid personal chit-chat entirely on any of your professional contact networks. It becomes all too tempting to post unflattering photos or unprofessional opinions about old bosses, especially if you don’t feel as though anyone is watching your Facebook page anyway. Make sure you are patient and professional while building up your network. When an employer decides to take action, you can be certain the hiring manager will run a Google search or review your social media pages. You don’t want an offhand comment or angry post to come back and haunt you later. Be smart and make your profiles and tweets work for you!

Most sites, including LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, each have different limits on the amount of information and the format in which you post. LinkedIn is designed primarily for professional contact, so you have sections for education, work experience, and your intent for setting up the profile.

Twitter has the most restrictive space limits. At 140 characters, you may not think you can say much about yourself. But if you think of your texting habits, considerable information can in fact be included in very little space. This space becomes even more valuable than the traditional resume space. Provide contact information and a few keywords that define your response to the discussion, your professional skills, or current professional trends.

Finally, there is Facebook. Most people think of Facebook as a personal site, but if you research a bit, you will see just how many businesses are using Facebook to strengthen their online presence as well. Have you been asked to “friend” a corporation?  Those requests are a testament to the power of Facebook for professional use and profit. Put its power to work for you by focusing on your credentials rather than your leisure activities. Include memberships in professional associations, a professional summary, pertinent work experience, or cutting edge professional development activities.

As part of job sites, LinkedIn, and Facebook, be sure to take advantage of the Groups areas to target contacts in your industry and demonstrate expertise. Be an active participant in discussions. Support other members and build relationships. The online community can be an integral part of your network and accelerate your job search exponentially.

As noted, maintaining a social media network takes just as much effort, consideration, and attention as face-to-face networking. Once you have your profile established, take some time to explore additional features of the sites and reach out to others. Experiment with social media and watch your job search take off!

About the Author: Alesia Benedict, Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and Job and Career Transition Coach (JCTC) is the President of GetInterviews.com, the country’s leading resume writing firm. They provide professionals with customized, branded resumes and career marketing documents. Her and her firm’s credentials include being cited by JIST Publications as one of the “best resume writers in North America,” quoted as a career expert in The Wall Street Journal, and published in a whopping 25+ career books. Established in 1994, the firm has aided more than 100,000 job seekers to date. All resume writers are certified writers. GetInterviews.com offers a free resume critique and their services come with a wonderful guarantee — interviews in 30 days or they’ll rewrite for free!

Use Smart Networking to Speed Up Your Job Search

By Alesia Benedict, CPRW, JCTC – GetInterviews.com

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A critical tactic in your job search toolbox is networking, but it may not feel as though your efforts are getting the results you want. Evaluate your approaches and make sure you are using your time wisely to get results more quickly.

Choose business networks.

Effective networking does not focus solely on talking with friends and family. Of course, you will discuss your job search with your informal network, but this is not the network that is likely to land your next job. Think in terms of business contacts, professional and community organizations, and even former professors or workshop leaders. You need to focus on people who are active in the business community in order to effectively use your network.

Maintain constant contact.

This point can feel like a balancing act. While you don’t want to be a pest, you need to maintain high visibility with your business network in order to be considered as a viable candidate for job openings.  Set your own goal for the number of contacts you will pursue. A goal of 3 to 5 weekly contacts is reasonable when you are conducting a full-time job search. Carry business cards with you for casual encounters and consider a more complete bio, resume, or project sheet for scheduled meetings. Remember to have your own business cards made so that you are not using anything related to current or former employers.  You don’t want to imply that you are looking for a job using company resources! Follow the example below to create your personal business card.

Ben or Betty Job Seeker
Human Resources Manager
(phone number)
(email)
(LinkedIn profile or website)

Diversify your efforts.

Don’t rely solely on social media or local groups. You need to use all resources available to you. Consider professional career strategists, local business organizations, and online sources. For social media sites such as Facebook, present an appropriate image. Remove any questionable photos or postings, such as complaints about your former boss or party pictures. Consider using LinkedIn to expand your network. Research any professional organizations that may also have job boards. It could be worth the membership to expand your professional network and use any online resources they may have for job seekers. Finally, don’t forget local sources, such as the Chamber of Commerce or civic groups composed of business leaders (for example, the Kiwanis).

Target effectively.

Are you networking with people who are making hiring decisions? This goes beyond shifting your focus from informal networks of friends and family to a business network.  Think about using your efforts effectively. You will get more results from some of the business leaders who are involved in local civic groups than networking with those contacts without hiring authority. That doesn’t mean you want to ignore those who answer the phones within an organization. You need to enlist them on your support team as well. Branch out to use the online resources mentioned earlier. If you are already on LinkedIn, review others with similar interests even if they are located across the country. Many professions are relatively small and one professional with hiring authority in New York may know someone hiring in your region.

Cultivate your network.

Cultivating a network takes time. Think of your professional network as a garden. Plant seeds with initial contacts. Weed out contacts that aren’t working. Fertilize those contacts that have greater potential in your targeted search. Constantly tend the network. You can’t expect results if you only reach out periodically or when you need some help. Think of ways to maintain contact with your network on a regular basis. Perhaps you have updated your skills and want to let people know. Send out copies of interesting articles you have discovered. These activities keep your name present in the minds of network contacts.

Smart networking will help you use your time more efficiently and achieve results more quickly. With a targeted network, you are not the only one working to find you a job. You have multiplied your efforts many-fold with an active network. Evaluate your approach and do some smart networking to land your next job!

About the Author: Alesia Benedict, Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and Job and Career Transition Coach (JCTC) is the President of GetInterviews.com, the country’s leading resume writing firm. They provide professionals with customized, branded resumes and career marketing documents. Her and her firm’s credentials include being cited by JIST Publications as one of the “best resume writers in North America,” quoted as a career expert in The Wall Street Journal, and published in a whopping 25+ career books. Established in 1994, the firm has aided more than 100,000 job seekers to date. All resume writers are certified writers. GetInterviews.com offers a free resume critique and their services come with a wonderful guarantee — interviews in 30 days or they’ll rewrite for free!

Savvy Internet Job Search Strategies

By Alesia Benedict, CPRW, JCTC – GetInterviews.com

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The Internet has become an integral component in almost everyone’s job search. Despite its power to remove boundaries, using the Internet in your job search is not without risk. Savvy strategies will help promote your search and protect personal information, while keeping the job search under wraps from your current employer.

Don’t Get Scammed

With Internet job searches, almost all correspondence between you and a prospective employer may be conducted via email. While that is not extraordinary, you still need to protect yourself if you are unable to find other evidence of the company’s reputation or existence. Even if you have phone contact with a representative of the company, you need to research the firm to ensure their legitimacy. Don’t get pulled into a scam because of your eagerness to obtain employment. Research the company before you get a request for personal information such as your social security number or driver’s license.  Look for specific feedback about the company online to help you determine your next step in interactions.

Keep It Quiet

Most job seekers begin to look for work before they leave their current employment – for basic financial reasons.  However, that doesn’t mean you want your current employer to know.  It is the rare supervisor who is pleased to learn that a key staff member is looking for other work. Never use company resources or time to devote to your job search. Use a personal cell phone or home phone number as a contact. Open a dedicated email account to provide an address other than one associated with your current employer. Even though it may be tempting to make just one copy of your resume at work, don’t risk it. Go to the library or local copy center and spend the few cents for a copy.

Protect Your Privacy

As noted, consider setting up a separate email account solely for use in your job search. When setting up your accounts with major online job sites, be certain to devise user names and passwords that differ from your other accounts. Keep personal, current work and job search accounts separate as much as possible.

Use privacy settings on job search and social media sites. Most major job sites allow your search information to remain confidential. With social media sites, double-check your privacy settings and those who may have access to your postings. You may have included your present employer at one time. Update settings during your job search, so that postings on Facebook about your job search don’t end up at your employer’s inbox.

LinkedIn is Not Facebook

LinkedIn is a professional networking site. Avoid the temptation to include any postings about negative job experiences. This is a site to highlight your strengths. If you feel the need to post on how your current boss unfairly reprimanded you, save it for Facebook and make sure your privacy settings are in place. Better yet, just talk to a friend or family member about it in person. Even with privacy settings, you cannot ensure postings will not migrate beyond Facebook. Such postings may damage your career search when they resurface elsewhere online.

Double-check any employment dates or information posted on LinkedIn against your resume. Any discrepancies in time-lines or information could severely damage your job search.

Identity Theft Protection

Most job seekers are eager to share information with potential employers, but be cautious of providing too much information too soon. Of course, basic contact information is necessary early in the job search process. Once you have determined that you are communicating with a legitimate company, sharing address and phone number via email or your resume are normal parts of the job search. As the negotiations continue, you will be required to provide social security number and complete background checks.  When posting your resume online or sending it electronically, only contact information is necessary to include. Limiting the amount of personal information will help protect you from identity theft.

Take a step back from your job search and objectively review your online presence and job search strategies. Although impossible to maintain complete control of information on the Internet, you can be savvy about privacy settings and how you choose to post your resume. Protecting your privacy is an important component in accelerating your job search.

About the Author: Alesia Benedict, Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and Job and Career Transition Coach (JCTC) is the President of GetInterviews.com, the country’s leading resume writing firm. They provide professionals with customized, branded resumes and career marketing documents. Her and her firm’s credentials include being cited by JIST Publications as one of the “best resume writers in North America,” quoted as a career expert in The Wall Street Journal, and published in a whopping 25+ career books. Established in 1994, the firm has aided more than 100,000 job seekers to date. All resume writers are certified writers. GetInterviews.com offers a free resume critique and their services come with a wonderful guarantee — interviews in 30 days or they’ll rewrite for free!

Doostang News February 28: Tips for Improving Your Networking – Part 2

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Welcome back to our second installment of tips for improving your networking skills.  Last time we discussed the importance of taking the time to really establish a meaningful connection with someone and of exchanging stories with the person you’re speaking to.  Both of these things help make you more memorable and create a basis for further conversation.  Read on for more tips on how to effectively chat people up at those networking events that we all love, oh, so much!

Create a Transition for Your Next Conversation

Once you’ve won over a contact at a networking event, the next battle becomes following up with them in a meaningful and relevant way.  Perhaps you feel comfortable approaching new people for the first time, but freeze up when it comes to following up with someone.  A good way to make this easier is to establish some basis for follow-up.  It can be as simple as telling them that you will get back to them with some piece of information, or paying close attention to a question they had and following up once you have an answer for them.  Or it may be as bold as scheduling a lunch meeting and actually following through with it.  Whatever it is that you decide to do, try your best to keep the conversation open when you say goodbye.

Become a Resource

It’s easy to list the ways in which others might be able to help us, and to attend networking events for the sole purpose of meeting such people.  But also try to consider how you could help others and make yourself available.  People seem most eager to follow up with someone when that other person is the gatekeeper to their next dream job or perfect connection.  Yet if you leave an event and find that there is some way in which you can aid someone you just met, try to be just as enthusiastic about getting in contact with that person.  If you do this, you will build a much richer network of contacts around yourself – ones that will be more likely to go out on a limb for you.

Embrace Social Media

As a follow-up to the in-person meeting, add your new contacts to your online social network.  The advantage of professional networking sites is that they grant your contacts access to all your information, including your resume if you choose to display it.  No matter how riveting of a conversation you had with another person, they’re not always going to remember all the details, so it’s helpful to provide that information afterward as well, and in a format that they can revisit.

Networking isn’t easy, but with these tips we hope it will be easier.  Just remember that in addition to everything, it’s important to be professional, friendly, and attentive – and hopefully this will render you unforgettable!

Until next time,

The Doostang Team

Doostang News November 15: How Social Networking Sites Can Help You Land Your Next Job

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You’re likely aware of the necessary precautions to take when posting certain information to your Facebook or Twitter profile.  After all, a scandalous picture or status update can doom your chances of bagging a respectable job, especially as more and more hiring managers take to social networking sites to screen prospective employees.  Even though these platforms started out as tools for the youth to connect and share information, they’re slowly starting to lose their youthful flavor.  In fact, social networking is one of the most effective ways to find and land a job these days, and here’s why:

Connect with Relevant People

The open nature of online networking gives you access to a multitude of people you wouldn’t have had the ability to contact otherwise – people who may just hold the keys to your future.  After a little bit of research to determine who the hiring managers and other key figures are, you can then track these people down on websites like LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook.  It’s not unusual to reach out to people you don’t know on a social networking site, especially if you introduce yourself in an appropriate manner.  If you don’t have a friend in common that can make the introduction for you, start off with an initial dialogue that explains who you are and what you’re looking for.  It’s best if you can offer something that the other person might need, like an article relevant to their interests or an introduction to someone they might like to get to know – after all, social networking sites are all about sharing information and connecting with people, so they’re liable to appreciate the gesture.  Establish a good rapport with your contact first, and then go ahead and ask about available positions; if there aren’t any, stay tuned, because hiring managers often turn to their networks with opportunities before posting them on job boards.  Moreover, a human connection will be more likely to ensure that your application is actually seen by someone, instead of disappearing into the digital vortex that is online resume submission.

Build Your Personal Brand

No matter what a search result yields when you enter your name, it’s nice to have control over this content.  So another way to use social media to your advantage is to become an avid producer of content that is helpful to others.  Doing so conveys that you are current, involved, and in the know.  You may find that others approach you with opportunities once you gather a following on a blog or various social networking sites; alternatively, you can use this content to supplement your job applications.  You can also use this material as a conversation starter, reaching out to others with articles you have written that they might find interesting.

Be an Active Community Member

Take advantage of the enormous Twitter community and start reaching out to people and having conversations.  Twitter allows you to communicate and share information with everyone from your neighbor to Lady Gaga, so sign up today and start conversing with key players in your target industry.  Once you become embedded in the community, you can also reach out to followers who now know and trust you, and seek out opportunities.

Get “Linked In”

Many individuals spend hours crafting the perfect Facebook profile, but stop short when it comes to filling out a page on LinkedIn.  However, it’s important to take the time to upload your resume, gather references if you can, and connect with as many people as possible.  Since the premise of the website is to establish an online professional network, you won’t seem awkward or boring when you reach out to people with career related matters.  Another feature you should take advantage of is LinkedIn groups – join the ones that are relevant to you and become an enthusiastic contributor.  The more involved you are, the more likely you are to stand out and garner opportunities that become available.

Networking is a crucial part of the job search, and online networking makes that process much easier.  Staying up to speed with various social networking sites is sure to make a world of difference in a job search, and is something every job seeker should pursue to some degree.

Stay connected,
The Doostang Team




Doostang News November 8: How to Handle a Friend Request from a Coworker

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Scroll through your list of friends on your various social media profiles, and if you’re like any other online networking obsessed time waster, you’ll probably notice a myriad of names you don’t even recognize.  How they got there you can’t quite recall, but at some point you’ve given them full access to your profile information.  Yet ironically, those are not the people you’re worried about – it’s oftentimes the people you do know well.  We’re talking about coworkers.  You see these people everyday, you work in the next cubicle over, you eat lunch together during your break.  But when it comes to connecting over the Internet, that’s where you feel you must draw the line.  You like to keep your business life and your personal life as separate, and with good reason.  Goody-two-shoes though you may be back at the office, you’re an all-out hooligan after 5pm, your antics better suited far outside the office.  But how do you bring yourself to turn down a friend request from a coworker and continue leading a double life?  Read on…

Deny Requests from All Coworkers

This doesn’t really seem to answer the present question, but a strict policy that involves denying all office related friend requests diffuses most awkward interactions.  If you make it a point to remain cut off from all of your office peers online, no particular coworker will be personally offended when he or she gets rejected.  If, however, you accept some requests and deny others, you’ll likely have some explaining to do.  Certain cast-out individuals will wonder what’s wrong with them, and worse still, what you’re hiding…

Ignore the Request

You could try to make life easier on yourself by dismissing the request altogether.  Don’t address the issue, and maybe your coworker will forget about the overture they made in the first place.  If they happen to bring it up, simply explain that you don’t spend much time on the website, and thus you haven’t gotten around to connecting with them yet.  You can further spin your web of untruths as you explain that you likely won’t be logging on in the near future, and so they can expect your continued absence from their friend network.  If you do take this approach, just make sure that you avoid making all sorts of public changes to your profile, dispelling the illusion that you have limited your online activity.

Create a Different or Limited Profile

An alternative to denying a coworker’s friend request altogether is to create a different, or in some cases, a limited, profile that your office friends can see.  This is less likely to cause any hard feelings, and the coworker will often be none the wiser.  Yet here too, consider creating a general policy for all coworkers.  You don’t want to get caught up in an awkward situation where a good buddy at work brings up the table dancing pictures you just posted, but hid from others in the office.  (Though is said buddy really a buddy if he sheds light on your rowdy weekend first thing Monday morning?)

As we all know, the advent of social media has brought with it some tricky dynamics in both the job search and the workplace.  Always make sure to put your best foot forward online, and do what you can to protect your privacy.

The Doostang Team would like to add you as a friend!




To Share or Not to Share: The Professional Downside of Your Online Social Life

According to a survey taken by CareerBuilder in June of more than 2,600 hiring managers, 45% of employers use social networking sites to research job candidates.

The survey also revealed which of the leading networking sites employers were most likely to consult. Leading at 29% was Facebook, with Twitter in last place at a mere (but significant) 7%.

These results shouldn’t come as a surprise to any recent grad, among the first generation of young professionals to grow up with online net

working. It’s an excellent way to keep track of who you know. But there’s a catch – social media, while an excellent networking tool, creates a level of transparency that can potentially damage your reputation and cut your employment or job search short.

This whole ‘things NOT to put on Facebook’ idea is hardly new, but for recent graduates used to the free-wheeling party atmosphere of college, cleaning up online is an important and often overlooked step in successfully assimilating into the ‘working world’.

Take for instance Kimberly Swann, the UK teen fired from her job this past spring for posting a series of comments expressing her apparent dissatisfaction with her employer on Facebook. And she’s not the only one caught the victim of an increasingly transparent social sphere. Check out Kevin, a stylish intern whose Halloween ‘personal day’ landed him a front-and-center photo in a company email:

So what can you do to make sure you’re not the next Kimberly or Kevin?

Facebook

The number one reason cited by employers that caused them not to hire candidates researched online was provocative or inappropriate photographs or information. With all its photo and comment sharing capabilities, Facebook is prime real estate for all kinds of damaging material.

  • A good rule of thumb is that if you wouldn’t want it on the front page of a national newspaper, take it off of Facebook. Since it is a primarily social resource, profile pictures don’t need to be overly professional, but it should go without saying that any bottle of tequila needs to be cropped out.
  • An employer’s goal is to create an accurate picture of who you are and how well you will fit into company culture. Make sure they get the ‘right idea’about you. This includes comments and status updates on your wall, which give employers a chance to see your communication skills and get a feel for the kind of people you hang around with. Don’t hesitate to start monitoring your comments if you have friends who often post things on your wall that aren’t career-worthy. Never use ‘text’ speech (L8R G8R!) – which was actually cited by the CareerBuilder survey as a reason for hiring managers to overlook an applicant.
  • Start monitoring your Facebook before you start searching for a job, not during. Times have changed, and online clean-up needs to become an integral part of your job search – at times it can be just as important as building up your resume or wearing a neatly pressed suit to your interview.
  • Remember that your online presence is all about personal branding. The clothes you wear, the people you hang around with, and the way you carry yourself all play a roll in your ‘personal brand’ – it’s the overall picture that your employer sees when considering you as a new hire. Facebook can either help or harm you on this front – use it to your advantage to reinforce all of those great qualities we know you have!

Twitter

Twitter is an entirely different beast than sites like Facebook or MySpace. Sure, only 7% of employers cited following potential job applicants as a method of screening – but the danger is still out there even if no one but your closest friends are following you. Twitter is an openly searchable, fast-paced and often mobile online environment used for quick status updates that describe where you are or what you’re thinking at the time of the post. The nature of twitter lends itself to a few very different rules than Facebook.

  • Unless your account is protected, all twitter posts are searchable by the general public. Not only that, but once they’re out there, they’re virtually impossible to retrieve. The internet NEVER FORGETS. So be careful about what you post! Here’s a great blog post with examples of what NOT to post on Twitter. You can avoid the possibility of your posts coming up in search results by protecting your account with privacy settings, but it’s impossible to remove tweets from the results once they are there. (damage control is a moot point.)
  • NEVER say anything damaging about an employer, a co-worker, or a client on Twitter. A good rule to live by is to simply never discuss work, good or bad, on Twitter (or Facebook). Getting into the habit early will help you keep control later when something *totally and completely infuriating* happens at work and you feel the need to share it with all of your closest friends. (Not to mention the few million who happen to pull up your tweet in their search results.)

A great example of ‘Things Your Boss Does Not Need to Know':

Here at Doostang we actually think this is an excellent idea, but depending on your industry, your employer may not be as easily amused.

It will be interesting to see the repercussions of the internet age in years to come when all of our social media-savvy college kids and young professionals grow up and become hot shot CEO’s and hiring managers. Like we said, the internet never forgets, so get your stuff together now and hopefully prevent any of those embarrassing remarks or photos from showing up later in life when the stakes are a lot higher.

Good luck, and TGIF!

The @doostang Team