6 Tips for Landing a New Job

Job searches can feel contradictory and confusing at times as you try to cover all the bases while simultaneously targeting a specific industry. In these tough economic times innovation is often necessary to land a job.  At the same time, you don’t want to be seen as too far removed from the mainstream when trying new approaches.  Balance is helpful in strategies and personal responses throughout the ups and downs of a challenging job search.

1.  Target Large and Small Companies

Don’t just pander to the Fortune 500 companies in your job search. As most economists note, small and mid-sized businesses do most of the hiring. Maintain a balance of the large companies and smaller regional businesses in your targeted job search.

2.  Consider a Temporary Position

Taking a temporary position doesn’t mean you will always be in a temporary slot.  The contacts may lead to full-time employment or another project with other businesses by further expanding your network.  Temporary positions can also lead to full-time positions, depending on your performance record and personal relationships while in the position.  Act like a full-timer in terms of big-picture planning and personal investment, and you’re likely to find yourself in that full-time position.

3.  Pursue an Internship

If you are interested in a career shift, consider an internship. These positions are no longer just for those finishing up college. Internships now accept established professionals who want to make a significant change in career direction. And an internship – at any stage in one’s career – serves the same purposes.  The internship will help you make contacts while you establish a skill set in a new industry.

4.  Follow up Judiciously

If you have posted your resume on a job site, be certain to follow up. Check email carefully for related job postings or additional leads. Cold call new prospects and conduct appropriate follow-ups. But remember the fine balance between being persistent and being a pest.  Anxiety or desperation about your job search can be conveyed in following up too frequently, appearing too eager or asking too many questions about the projected time-frame for interviews and hiring. Your best business suit is your confidence.

5.  Adjust Your Expectations

Balance your expectations with the reality of the job market. You may be ready to move into an upper management position, but find those jobs are unavailable. Look at the demographics of those currently in the job you desire. In many companies, those positions are held by folks who may have weathered the recent downturn and could be looking toward retirement over the next few years. Although it is hard to be patient and you may certainly feel you are over-qualified for a lower-level position, it can be important to simply get into the organization.  Once you have been accepted as part of the team, it is likely that you can move up quickly and perhaps that plum position will open up sooner than you anticipate. Moving into key positions is often more likely to occur from within the organization, so place yourself in a position to take advantage of eventual opportunity.

6.  Balance Traditional and Emerging Job Search Strategies

Networking is a tried and true method, but it doesn’t always have to be face-to-face.  Use social networking sites – appropriately – for your job search.  Professionally oriented sites such as LinkedIn provide a great place to start, but be sure to clean up questionable postings on Facebook to improve your chances in a competitive job market.

Dream big and balance your expectations with the economic reality. Maintaining a healthy combination in your approach and attitude will move you toward your ultimate career goals!  Balance is the key to your interactions, plans, and attitude in creating a successful search and landing that job!

Author: Alesia Benedict

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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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Investment Operations Associate – Los Angeles, CA

Pre-MBA Investment Banking Analyst – Boston, MA

Analyst – Washington, DC

Associate Equity Research – New York, NY

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Accelerate Your Job Search with Social Media

By Alesia Benedict, CPRW, JCTC – GetInterviews.com

Associate, London, UK
Business Analyst, Chicago, IL
Portfolio Consultant, New York, NY
Online Marketing Analyst, Waltham, MA
Risk Arbitrage Analyst, New York, NY

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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!

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Savvy Internet Job Search Strategies

By Alesia Benedict, CPRW, JCTC – GetInterviews.com

Private Equity Analyst, New York, NY
Marketing Associate, Chicago, IL
Analyst, San Francisco, CA
Assistant Brand Manager, New York, NY
Investment Banking Analyst, Washington, DC

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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!

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

Trading Analyst, New York, NY
Consultant, Mexico City, Mexico
Analyst, Los Angeles, CA
Director/Manager Corporate Strategy, Charlotte, NC
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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




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Beef Up Your Job Search – Get Tech Savvy!

By Alesia Benedict, CPRW, JCTC – GetInterviews.com

Investment Banking Analyst, Boston, MA
Deal Flow Associate, Miami, FL
Private Equity Associate – Direct Investing, Toronto, Canada
Attorney Development Analyst, Los Angeles, CA
Associate/Analyst, New York, NY

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In case you haven’t noticed, the old paper resume isn’t getting the same results it once did – even with special formatting or high-quality paper. Electronic resumes are the ones grabbing all the attention these days.  In some markets, job candidates may as well be sending out paper airplanes as submitting hard copy resumes. To avoid such disappointing results, use the following tips to check your technology use and online presence for greater impact from the job search.

E-Mail Basics

Review your e-mail address.  How professional is it? Golf4me@aol.com may be memorable, but perhaps for the wrong reasons. Setting up a new e-mail account doesn’t have to be complicated with so many free sites for e-mail addresses available.  A simple e-mail address with your first and last name at free sites, such as AOL, Gmail, or Yahoo! will work well. Bobsmith@aol.com is easy to remember and emphasizes what you want the hiring manager to recall – your name!

It is also critical to avoid using your current work e-mail address.  Use of a work-related e-mail address can convey a number of potentially negative messages, ranging from a perception of impropriety to a sense of naiveté about business matters.  In other words, if you are comfortable receiving e-mails about your resume or job search while at the current job, hiring managers may question your ethics or judgment.  These are not good perceptions to create in the reader’s mind. The associations you want to create include an enthusiasm about meeting you, a feeling that you could fit nicely into their organization, and most importantly, how you can positively impact their bottom line.

Web Presence

Personal Internet sites can strengthen or sabotage a career search.  Even if the CEO or hiring manager isn’t Googling you, it is very likely someone in their office is conducting such a search for them.  It’s becoming common business practice. So, Google yourself first to see what shows up, and then make sure that what is on the web is consistent with the impression you want to convey.

Are you on Facebook? LinkedIn? Twitter? Though a level of caution should be exercised when using these sources, you can make a positive presence utilizing social networking sites. It is not necessary to have a personal website to make a professional presence on the Internet.

Check out alumnae groups, professional organizations, or even the local Chamber of Commerce. Most of these groups have a section for members to post basic information, ranging from contact details to a brief overview of your skills. However, just as with the e-mail address, make sure posts are consistent with the professional presentation of a mini-resume.  Each of these Internet sites should build a comprehensive perception of you as a professional in your field in order to enhance the job search.

Finally, what career sites are you using, if any?  Available sites range from Monster.com to Craigslist. However, indiscriminately posting the resume “everywhere” on the web is unlikely to achieve positive results. The old “shotgun” approach of sending the resume to “everyone” typically delivers a sense of defeat. The lack of response is likely related to where and how the resume is posted.  Make sure the site has the type of positions you are targeting.  Next, review the format of the resume. Does it “translate” well or are those snappy formatting features you included to set your resume apart from the competition preventing a legible upload of the resume? Formatting the resume in an electronic version that another computer can easily read is crucial to success on these job sites.

Technological Tools

For job seekers searching beyond their geographic region, technological gadgets may be necessary to conduct a remote interview. Webcam or Skype for a distance interview may be important tools to consider. Many new computers and laptops have these options built in, but if not, explore other local options. Libraries, for instance, are expanding services available to job seekers. Check and see how extensive the local library’s collection of technological tools may be.  National copy and office chains offer these tools as well. If not, you may be able to pick up a webcam on sale for just a few dollars – definitely worth the investment to be prepared if the hiring manager calls suggesting a remote interview as an option to reduce travel while still getting the interview done.

Getting Help with the Final Review

Adding in the technological component to an already complicated job search may feel overwhelming. If you can’t manage all these issues yourself, look for existing resources – whether it’s your niece, nephew, or the local librarian. That’s the value in using “ready-made” sites, such as the Chamber of Commerce mentioned earlier.  It is not necessary to “re-invent” the wheel to create a positive presence on the web.

Finally, when reviewing the presence you have created on the Internet, try to do so with a critical eye. If this wasn’t your Facebook page, how might you respond to it?  What is that all-important first impression? The first impression is just as critical for an online presence as during the interview.  In fact, that technological first impression may be the important link in obtaining an interview.  Optimizing online tools can garner the kind of attention needed to launch a successful career search. This is the first place many hiring managers are going to review potential candidates, so make sure you get there first and have a positive resource ready.

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!




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

Analyst, New York, NY
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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!




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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

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Doostang News Apr2: Start-ups on our Mind…

We’ve got start-up on the brain. The Web 2.0 Expo’s going on in San Francisco this week, The Twitter whale’s working overtime, and company names are becoming verbs, adverbs and – dare we hope – conjunctions en masse.

Many of you have written in and told us you’d like to join a start-up, and we find it hard to disagree, especially after talking to Azeem.

Azeem was kind enough to offer up his experience doing BizDev for a mobile app analytics start-up, and guess what? He was a investment banker before, for those of you looking to transition out.

The Start-up Life at Pinch Media in New York

What’s Pinch Media?

Pinch Media is a smartphone application analytics company, focused on providing app publishers with relevant metrics in gauging usage of their applications. TThe company was founded on April 1, 2008 (yesterday was our one year anniversary!) by Greg Yardley (CEO) and Jesse Rohland (Lead Developer).” I came on board about 6 months ago, as the first business/non-technical hire. We are currently a team of 6 full-time (1 CEO, 1 lead developer, 3 developers, and myself in BD – and we are backed by Union Square Ventures and First Round Capital.

Describe a day in your life doing BizDev there.

Every day at Pinch is different, and I’m usually doing a variety of things at any given time. A large part of my job involves connecting with new strategic partners and potential users, as well as brainstorming opportunities with companies/developers that are currently using our service, but are looking for more. This also entails keeping up on developments in our space (smartphone applications), learning from developers and companies that are doing interesting things, and gauging strategies that might make sense for us to employ. Because the mobile app space is so new (it was really just born in its present form this past year, with the iPhone app-store), there’s always new things to learn. Being at the nexus of this space and helping others learn through us has definitely been fun, and is a constant part of my job.

Needs always change, and the most rewarding part of being at a startup is wearing multiple hats. During fundraising, I spent a large part of my time on strategy and modeling. Right now, I am focusing alot more on operational execution. Evangelization is always a part of the job as well; I have given talks at a few mobile conferences/meetups within the past few months. Altogether, I do not think I could have gotten this rich of an experience anywhere other than at a startup; it’s really great to help build all of these various facets of a company, from the absolute ground up, and I have had a complete blast doing it so far.

How’d you find your job?

I was particularly interested in either pursuing venture capital, or business development and/or strategy at a VC-backed startup. I reached out directly to a number of companies in the New York area, specifically those backed by some of the more prominent east coast VCs (like Union Square Ventures, in this case). I met the team at Pinch, felt positively about the opportunity; the team felt likewise, and here I am now.

The one important thing I realized in pursuing a business role at a startup (and at seed-stage VCs for that matter), is that the process can be an “entrepreneurial” one, in and of itself. Pinch Media did not have an actual position in place; I reached out, and there was a mutual fit, so I was brought on board. This process is similar to that of many others I know, who currently work at startups.

What’s the transition from banking to a start-up been like? What advice do you have for those looking to make a similar transition?

I had been looking to ultimately enter a bd/strategy role at a startup ever since I started my career in investment banking (I was at Houlihan Lokey before transitioning into my current position). I have worked mostly on M&A transactions and some private/venture-stage financings, in the tech and interactive media space; so, having an intimate familiarity with digital/interactive media and tech companies via the deals I have done certainly helped.

Nonetheless, at first I was a little worried that I was ill-prepared for the type of position I wanted; most friends of mine in similar roles come from a management consulting background. However, I found that my skill sets from banking were definitely transferable: systematic way of analyzing companies, modeling during fundraising, and even softer skills like tracking deal pipelines (did not realize how important this was until this job), being able to manage a general deal process etc etc.

The biggest difference from finance is learning to work in a completely unstructured environment. If you are the entrepreneurial type, this is the perfect environment to thrive in; however, coming from investment banking, it still takes some time to get rid of your “analyst/associate” mindset. Of course, this depends on the size of the startup in question; but on the whole, you have alot more room for exploration and intellectual curiosity: very different environment from investment banking. And in fact, at a startup, exploration and intellectual curiousity are absolute necessities, given the job.

In terms of finding a job like this, to reiterate, the biggest advice I have is to approach the process in an entrepreneurial fashion; do not rely on headhunters, etc., but instead, directly reach out to startups (and their VCs, as they keep a pulse on roles that need to be filled for portfolio companies) regardless of whether they have positions listed. And of course, apply to roles you find on Doostang, Startuply, and other sites you come across.

Has your experience impacted your career plans? How?

It definitely has; I have a much clearer picture of what I like and dislike about tech entrepreneurship, and this has made me alot smarter about my options going forward. The good thing about working for a startup is having the option to learn on someone else’s account, so to speak; if/when I decide to found a company, I’ll have the professional maturity of having essentially gone through it once before, which is clearly a positive.

Venture capital and/or growth private equity are strong and very natural career directions as well; having first-hand operational experience will tremendously help in pursuing roles in either of these fields (versus only having advisory experience).

View Azeem’s profile.. Learn more about Pinch Media.

Why do you love your start-up job? We want to know!

Finding a start-up job on Doostang

Start-up job listings have found a natural home on Doostang. We’re a Silicon Valley startup ourselves, and we have a strong track record placing venture capitalists who often help their portfolio companies recruit through Doostang.

Even as we type, there are a bunch of cool opportunities out there – doing BD (like Azeem!) in New York for early stage advertising start-up or in London for a green start-up, Product management in LA for a car-pricing information service, even online marketing for Doostang. ;)

Beyond listings, don’t forget Azeem’s point about being entrepreneurial in your search itself. Start-ups change – quickly – and most don’t have in-house recruiters. What does this mean for you? That often creating the opportunity in a start-up is the name of the game. If you know a company you want to work for, search for people who work there. If you don’t, check out your inside connections on our start-up listings and ask for advice. Network, be hungry, foolish, network. Repeat.

Our members have gotten jobs at AdBrite, Facebook, Yelp, The Frontier Strategy Group and more. You can get a cool start-up job too – just be open-minded in your approach.

Is your start-up hiring? Post your opening on a start-up friendly budget (free), and reach the best of the best.

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Whatever you do, just don’t make a grown man cry. 10 bucks to the first person to get that reference.

Team Doostang

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