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More than just a piece of written resume, winning your dream job is all about making a perfect first impression and putting your best foot forward. You might look great on paper and get shortlisted because your resume is perfectly and neatly crafted. But not every employer will love you, let alone hire you just based on your resume.

Often times, employers look at other traits on their potential candidates. They examine your behaviours and personalities as well. Without further ado, in the end of this year, make sure a Cupid arrow is landed up for you and your career progression. Read on the listed tips below to make yourself appealing to employers.

Craft a professional social media presence – You should be aware that employers will stalk their potential candidates even before calling them for a job interview. In this case, social media can serve as an unplanned resume because it can tell a lot about you. Bad social media attitude, often means bad candidates. Of course you do not want your recruiter to think that way. So, ensure that your social profiles are up-to-date, appropriate for business matters, and have something exciting to tell recruiters about your personality.

Highlight your accomplishments – Your resume tells a lot about you, so is the way you answer your interview questions. When employers ask about your accomplishments that you already highlight in your resume, you should answer it certainly and accordingly. Show the potential employers that you do not embellish those acts and that your achievements can help you when you are hired for the position.

Ask relevant questions – Oftentimes, employers do not only assess your candidacy merely from how best your answers are, but how good and relevant is your questions regarding the job you are applying. The general rule here is to never ask questions that you can easily find in company’s website or Google search. Show them that you are well-prepared.

You can ask questions that will help you understand if this job if the right job for you. For example, ask about resources, budget you have to work with, upper level engagement in projects, or role that you should contribute in workplace.

Express your interest and ask the next steps – Many interviews end with only formal thanks and good-byes but it should not happen to you too. To make employers fall head over heels to you, you should show that you are genuinely interested about the job and position you are applying. Show them that you are the right candidate. Also, add key points in how you can be valuable for company and ask them the next step. Employers love to hire hardworking and smart working candidates.

Read also: 7 Things You Should Do Before Starting a Job Hunting

 

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You have graduated from uni with an excellent GPA. Now, you need to prepare yourself to enter the workforce and land a job in your dream company. Before applying for a job, first you have to ensure that you already have the most important weapon in a job hunt: an attractive resume.

A good resume should be more than just a dull list of your academic achievements and personal information. That being said, to write a resume that will get shortlisted by recruiter is not the same as writing a caption for your Instagram updates. There are things you should consider such as the template, opening statement, and career overview. You must put all the best qualities on a single paper to sell yourself because usually a recruiter only give a brief 10 seconds looking at each resume.

Therefore, you should be smart enough to write only relevant qualifications or else you will lose the opportunity to catch the hiring manager’s interest. If you are a fresh graduate seeking to get that dream job, here is a guide to write your first professional resume:

1. Know the audience

Resume is a marketing tool to sell your ability, experience, and accomplishment in order to snatch a job. You should make sure that its message is targeted to right recipients: employer and recruiter. Therefore, before writing a resume for job application, you should consider:

  • The company: including its history, products, services, culture, and recent developments.
  • The specific requirements: skills and experience.  

2. Choose the right style  

You should choose the best style for your resume. There are 3 styles of resumes in general: chronological, functional, and combination. Chronological resumes focus on work experience and list of professional experience from the most to the least recent. Functional style focuses on skills more. Yet, normally, a combination of both styles will work on your first resume. You can point out your professional experience while still draw attention on your skills.

Moreover, you should not forget to certain format on your resume. Normally, resumes have header, career objectives, statement, skills and abilities, work experience, education, and interest. Don’t forget to always highlight the skills and abilities that are relevant to the job.

3. Start with the basic

Before we move to the more complicated task, let’s start by writing the most basic information that should be written on a resume: name, address, phone number, and email address. Make sure to give a professional email address. An email address like mixblond113@gmail.com will not work and the recruiter might think that you are just joking around. Therefore, you should create a professional email right away if you don’t have any.

4. Personal statemen

Recruiters are not only interested in why you are applying for the position and what you can do. They are also curious in who you are as a person. Therefore, providing a personal professional statement on your resume is always a good start to let them know who you are. You can use these questions as a guide to write your statement:

  • Do you fit the company culture?
  • Is your personality and attitude a good match for the company and team?
  • What makes you believe you will land a job in that company?
  • What is so interesting about your life?

5. Job posting as a guide

The best way to summarise your skill and experience is to tailor it with job description. Many recruiters use applicant tracking system (ATS) to shortlist resume, especially if there are so many jobseekers applying. Therefore, you should be able to keep it simple and make sure to include some ‘keywords’ in your resume so the ATS can scan it. Usually, the keywords recruiters use are: hard skills and soft skills. The more you can match with those skills in the job description, the more chances you can get that job.

6. Keep it one page

The average duration recruiters spend to review a resume is 10 seconds. You should make it concise and lean by getting rid of all the fluff. As your first resume should fit in one page, you can only write relevant information in it. For example, if you are applying for a design graphic programmer but you have worked at a McDonalds for 1 year, it will be better if you don’t include that experience in your resume unless it is relevant.

7. Professional look

To impress the recruiter, you should give it a professional look. Make sure that your resume is easy to read by using: common font styles (cambria, calibri, or helvetica styles), give 12 to 14 font size, use appropriate spacing, no more than six highlight and bullet points, margins 1” all around, and left aligned format. However, if you are a graphic designer, you can impress recruiters by designing your resume as creative and unique as possible.

8. Use action and power words

Recruiters are more interested in reviewing resumes that are really dynamic and impressive in action. In order to give that impression, you should use the right action verbs and powerful words. Few examples of those words are achieved, created, generated, initiated, organized, introduced, identified, improved, resolved, launched.

9. Proofread your resume

Finally, never submitted raw resumes that have not been proofread. Before submitting your resume, make sure to always double check or ask your friend to review it. This process will give you clues whether your resume is A-okay to be read by recruiter or not. Also, you can be aware of the misspelling words that will make your resume look unprofessional.

Read also: Passion versus Skill: What Comes First in a Job Search?

If there’s anything stronger than your resume to secure an interview call, it is your cover letter that creates an impression on the minds of the employer. A brilliant resume might showcase to your future employer, that you possess the required educational background and promising potential. However the truth is a resume in itself is not enough.

Among other equally qualified and talented candidates, why should the company choose you instead? What could make them believe that you are the best fit for the job role? Relax! A well-written cover letter is the answer to these questions.

If the process of job searching can be pictured literally to draw comparisons with ‘hunting’ experience, then you do need resilient weapons to bring the game home. If a resume can be said to be an arrow, then cover letter is the bow that will help the arrow to hit the target right.

This creative example applies in job seeking too, wherein a cover letter is meant to complement the resume. But can’t you just rely on a resume? Not all of it. It’s important to remember that, the arrow released from the bow will work more effectively than those arrows that are thrown away with empty hands.

Going by the parable, we can say that cover letter is a complementary tool to confirm and empower what’s being stated in the resume. It is an efficient way to demonstrate your skills and experiences. Therefore, the writing process of a cover letter should not be taken lightly.

In just a few paragraphs, you should be able to explain your qualifications and experiences in the right professional tone and retain the hiring manager’s attention to be thereafter called for an interview. No wonder, writing a perfect cover letter requires extra efforts and commitment.

Then the real question is, how should you write a compelling and meaningful cover letter, instead of a cliché one? To help you stay off the damaging cover letter pitfalls, here are 9 things you should never state:

  1.       Wrong or false information

Well, this might be obvious. But actually, to find candidates telling lies in their resume is not something uncommon. Don’t risk your reputation by putting wrong or false information in the cover letter as well. Always pay attention to minute details, usage of words and phrases, and double check if you have written the name, address, job title, and other information correctly.

  1.       Spelling or grammatical errors

Your friend might just shrug his shoulder when you make typos during a friendly chat. However, if such typo errors are found in your cover letter, it will impact your chances of getting called for an interview, not sure if hired later either. Therefore, after penning down your cover letter, check for  grammatical and spelling mistakes or punctuation errors. To avoid making silly mistakes, you can perhaps ask your friend to proofread the cover letter as well.

  1.       Cliché language

There are hundreds of resumes and cover letters piling up on employer’s desk everyday for a certain job role. If you bore them in your cover letter using cliché and generic language, then you fail to position yourself differently and unique than anyone else. This could make the recruiter to simply lose interest in your candidature. Therefore, showcase your efforts by crafting the cover letter carefully to eliminate usage of cliché phrases, and by replacing them with unique expressions that reflect your true personality.

  1.       Revealing your weaknesses

A cover letter is all about telling what you can offer, if selected for the position. So, do not mention any skills and qualifications that you do not possess at this point in time, because it will only reveal your weaknesses instead. Focus on how you can make most of this opportunity to retain the hiring manager’s attention, impress the potential employer with your skills and knowledge to be shortlisted and called for interview rounds.

  1.       Negative remarks

Maybe you left your last job in awkward situations and not really amicable terms with your past employer. However, this does not mean that you can talk negatively about them, criticise or badmouth the former organisation. Such attitude is not only unethical, but your potential employer could also perceive it as a sign of attitude or performance issues.

  1.       Personal information

Cover letter is about you on what you can offer to the company and how. Therefore, it is crucial to always appear professional in a cover letter. You should not mention any personal information that has nothing to do with the job or the company. If you want to talk about your personal issues or challenges, you can wait until you get selected for a personal round of interview.

  1.       Overselling yourself

Yes, it is important to emphasise your pluses rather than minuses. But there’s a thin line of difference to be followed as your sell your skills to the future employer – do not sound conceited, egoistic, closed minded or over proud of your achievements. While you need to highlight your accomplishments positively, make sure to not make it sound exaggerated.

  1.       Excessive flattery

Do not sugar-coat your cover letter with excessive praise and flattery, just for the sake of gaining attention. People can easily tell the difference between genuine remarks and the empty sweet talks.

  1.       Talking about salary

While we all know that every hiring process will come down to the money-talk. There is always a time right for discussing salary and compensations later, but not to state the same far ahead of time on your cover letter. This is one big mistake. Unless you are asked to mention and clearly state your salary expectations in the cover letter, you should rather keep such discussions until you are called for a personal interview.

Cover letter can help you unlock doors to the best job opportunity and get your candidature shortlisted for the interview. Going beyond traditional resume, a cover letter allows you the opportunity to highlight your strengths and key selling points. Therefore, craft it right in a good, professional tone to empower your resume, and make the interview feel it’s worth the time and energy invested to meet you in person for an interview.

Are you active on social media platforms? How do you manage your social media accounts? How often do you monitor your postings and home page? When was the last time you updated your information? Chances are, most fresh graduates today have at least one social media account online.

Be careful on the path to harnessing social media reach and networking with new people. Use of social media has its share of downsides as well. Social media today, is no longer merely used to connect with the world at large. If you are not vigilant enough in filtering through your social media posts, it could perhaps cost you a missed job opportunity.

Candidate’s social media ‘cleanness’ increasingly becomes one of the major consideration for employers as well. Jobvite survey notes that 92 percent employers use social media as a part of their hiring strategy.

Based on the latest Careerbuilder survey in 2016, 60 percent employers use social networking sites to research whether the candidates are professionally fit for the job role or not. Meanwhile, previous Careerbuilder survey in 2013 found 43 percent hiring managers stated that they do not hire a candidate due to the information they found on the candidate’s social media account.

As pointed out by the survey, there are several social media channels that might cost your candidacy, such as provocative or inappropriate photos (50 percent), drinking or using drugs (48 percent), and bad-mouthed previous employer (33 percent).

On the other hand, social media might improve your candidacy as well, as long as you convey a professional image (57 percent), showcase good personality (50 percent), and demonstrate a wide range of interests (50 percent). If you are a fresh graduate seeking to improve employment opportunity during the job search, you should pay attention to these social media dos and don’ts:

Dos

Google your name. Type your name on the search engine and see what it gives you. If the results give you negative pieces of content that originate from social media accounts, you should trace down the roots and fix them right away. This way, you can keep your personal brand clean and appealing.

Be consistent. Consistency is crucial for your personal brand. Your online information on social media should be in line with the ones you write in your resume. So, you have to double check if you have provided consistent name, education, work experience, and other personal information.

Clean up your profile. Make sure that your profile picture represents your professional side, especially on LinkedIn. If you intend to create a good impression for future employers, you should change your physically-flaunting pictures with more proper and casual ones. Not only your current posts, should you also take down all tactless posts from the past.

Pay attention to details. Your friends or followers might not make a big deal when you mistakenly spell ‘your’ and ‘you’re’. However, your future employer will. Therefore, make sure that you pay attention to details and avoid ambiguity in your posts.

Be social. It is social media, after all. You should make your online presence counted by joining and actively participating in groups related to your fields of expertise. Interact with people from the same network, you will gain deeper insights about the professional world and perhaps even find a new job opportunity.

DON’T

Be offensive. Refrain your emotions from publishing offensive comments or status updates on your social media accounts. When you want to get ahead in your career, it is important to keep your professionalism by circumventing such profanity.

Complain about previous employers. Not only unethical, complaining and bad-mouthing your previous employers will only leave negative impression about you.

Spread negative issues. Hoax and provocative news are easily spread over the internet. Don’t sacrifice your integrity by sharing such news on your social media accounts. Before posting and sharing sensitive issues, do research to find out the truth first.

Post inappropriate photos and videos. Think twice before you post anything online. Because once posted, you never know the effects they could bring in the future. Hence, never post questionable photos and inappropriate videos that can ruin your credibility.

Tell lies. This might be obvious, but many fresh grads fall for this mistake nonetheless. While it is important to keep your profile attractive with relevant qualification mentions, do not over exaggerate your achievements as you will only end up telling lies.

When it comes to social media, there are always two sides to the same coin. While social media can help boost your employment opportunity, if you let your guard down, then social media could impact your personal branding to affect any incoming job offers in the near and long term as well.

Next read: Top 10 User-Friendly Job Search Apps Every Jobseeker Should Possess

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Have you been working for years in more than one company? If yes, you might be a well-experienced job seeker every company is dreaming of! When you are looking for a new job, you will be inputting those terrific track records on your resume.

However, some companies might think conversely; are you a chronic job hopper?

It is vital to re-evaluate your resume in the presentation of your job history. With a tactical description, employers will not see you as a job hopper maniac. Instead, they will consider you as a highly capable talent who seek for a great company to continue to grow with.

Here are some points you need to revise on your resume:

Give a brief note next to the date of employment about why you left your previous employment. Causes that are beyond your control are commonly understood, and this will also stop them from assuming that you are job hopping.

Focus on contributions and accomplishments. Another way to throw away the job-hopping impression is by listing your contributions and accomplishments during your working tenures. The strategy can divert the employers’ focus not merely to criticise the amounts of companies you have been working for. Instead, they will highlight the outstanding performance and achievement you have done in your previous job positions.

Temporary assignments. Today’s talents’ needs are high, but some companies might hire them for temporary assignments. When you were hired previously for temporary or contract positions, be sure to explain it in your resume. Also, lead the focus on contributions, accomplishments and experiences gained from the short tenures that contributed to your capabilities.

Continue the great resume with an outstanding interview performance. Having a great resume with impressive job history is nothing without an excellent interview performance. Instead, be active in delivering your arguments on your job changing behaviour! The lack of opportunity in career development, unfit job position and a passion to explore more suitable career options are some reasonable arguments that deny the job-hopping stamp.

Whatever your reasons for quitting the jobs, keep in mind to never badmouth or undervalue your previous employers. Such negative attitude will lead to a bad impression and this is certainly tarnishing for your career chances in the future.

Next read: Negotiating Your Salary the Wrong Ways

Do's and Dont's for Creating Catchy Resume

Every recruiter reads a pile of resumes. How could you be so sure that your resume is memorable enough to catch their attention? We heard that recruiters don’t fall for fancy formatting. Plus, they only take less than 25 seconds to skim through your resume.

Really, what should you do? Here are several tips for you, according to professional recruiters.

 

Do’s:

  • Mention URLs of your online presence

You might think it is not necessary, but recruiters prefer this kind of information than, say, your weight and height. However, it could be more than just your personal social media accounts. There are many websites to showcase your expertise, concern, and interest. Such as blog for writers, Dribbble for designers, and GitHub for developers.

When a recruiter check the URLs, your chance to stand out is bigger than ever. Yes, they spend some time to check your online presence. Thus, demonstrate your expertise to open-source repositories, and don’t forget to include it on your resume.

  • Show some personality into your resume

It is not always putting a ‘boring’ statement on your resume, such as, hard-worker or passionate. Are you a friendly and funny person in real life? Try inserting something on your resume to prove that! Most resumes are very formal. When you write something out of the norm, recruiters will pay more attention to your resume.

Really, there are ways to make your resume more fun.

  • List your important personal projects

Office hours normally only take 8 hours of your 24-hour day. What do you do for the rest of your day? Some people have personal side projects, and it could be a plus in eyes of the recruiter. If your projects are related to the industry, do not take those for granted. It could be a strong reason to hire you.

 

Dont’s:

  • Create old-fashioned, paper resume

Are you using MS Word’s resume templates? Please don’t. Also, you should not list an objective at the top of the resume like people do in the 90s.

Things are not going great as well for people who keep mailing, faxing, or hand-delivering paper resumes. Most recruiters are busy and tech-y. They would most likely prefer digital resumes, since they can find keywords more easily.

  • Write badly and long-winded

Pay more attention on how you write your resume. Is it free of grammatical errors? What kind of writing style did you chose: first person or third person? Whatever it is, make sure you are consistent. Also, recruiters think a resume with a ridiculous number of pages is obnoxious. No need to exaggerate your experiences, responsibilities, and achievements. Do them a favour! Simplify it.

  • Send it to the CEO

Some job seekers think that they have to send resume addressed to the CEO. While in fact, it makes their resume go unnoticed. CEOs don’t often read resumes. Find the correct person you should send your resume to!

Real Resume Advices from Recruiters

You have read hundreds of resume tips, but sometimes your resume still can’t score a job interview. Let alone land you a job. What is actually going on?

Most job seekers are obsessed with their resume, because it is the only thing they can control within the job search. They can’t be sure that they will nail the job interview.

Truth is, it is rare to get hired by simply submitting a resume. If the resume is not good enough, you won’t even have a chance to meet the recruiters.

In order to be invited for a job interview, here are some real advices about your resume from recruiters’ point of views:

1. Irrelevant experiences are clearly pointless

Job hopping is acceptable these days, but it makes recruiters confused with your expertise. Once recruiters are not sure about the things that you are good at, they will prefer not to conduct an interview with you.

Truth is, your resume should connect the dots, because no one else will do it for you. Recruiters will not be able to put the pieces together, since they are skimming a pile of resumes. Worse, you can’t explain to them without an actual job interview.

2. Less is definitely more

A recruiter will only skim your resume in 10-20 seconds on the average. Thus, the shorter your resume, the better. No more than two pages. Make it as simple as possible. Also, your resume should be easy to read that even students in general could understand. Really, do a favour for the recruiter.

3. Flashy resume won’t get you far

Unless you are applying for a graphic designer position, your resume is supposed to use the traditional format. Forget about special effects and other layout designs you think are cool. Recruiters want a proven qualified candidate, not just a flashy resume.

Use black normal font against a white paper with familiar size. Also, don’t put too much bold, italics and underlining. Traditional resume formatting makes it easier for both recruiter and yourself. Better to focus on the content providing your most relevant qualifications, so that you can score the job interview that you wanted.

RESUME

Mandy Webb is a career and workplace expert and an experienced course instructor on Job Seeker topics. She has worked in both Singapore and Australia and specialises in Resume and Interview Skills.

A resume is the first impression and contact you will ever have with a potential employer. As such, it is of paramount importance to ensure you present an excellent image just as you would with any person you are meeting for the first time in real life. In my experience as a course instructor, I have edited hundreds of resumes. Most of them unfortunately commit similar mistakes that could very possibly eliminate them from being considered right away.

Here are the top 4 common mistakes that you should avoid in your resume:

[more…]

1. Irrelevant Personal Details

A broad spectrum of categories lie under the umbrella of Personal Details. I have come across countless job seekers, young people especially, who often get carried away with listing personal details. It is certainly apt to include personal details such as your full name, address and contact details. However, your resume, being a summary of your professional profile is often not the appropriate platform to list your hobbies, interests, political affliations, religion and even your age.

Do note though that there are exceptions where listing hobbies and age would be beneficial. Let’s take for example, a situation of a fun, creative marketing company searching for a suitably outgoing individual. In that case, you could list relevant hobbies to highlight your fit with the organization. Similarly, in cases where a company is searching for a junior intern, it is apt to list your age. Otherwise, there is really no need to list your personal hobbies or age if it is not relevant and does not contribute to the overall image you want to give.

Also, do remember that the aim of a resume is to score you an interview to prove your suitability for the position. Listing irrelevant personal details that might unknowingly allow you to be discriminated by the employer’s own personal preferences will only serve to defeat the purpose.

 Read also: 5 Tips on Preparing for a Job Interview

2. Inappropriate Email Address: What Impression Does Your Email Address Give?

Most people would have email addresses in this day and age, making email addresses a very common contact listing in resumes. Unfortunately, most people do not seem to pay much attention to their email addresses. In my career as a course instructor, I have come across various inappropriate email addresses listed on resumes. These inappropriate email addresses can contain swear words or evoke an unprofessional image that you do not want to give (For eg. Partygirl_5201@yahoo.com.sg). Given that a resume is your chance at a first impression and the first point of contact you will ever have with a potential employer, I strongly suggest creating a simple and professional email address. Something as simple as your full name will usually suffice.

 

3. Length: Does Your Resume Exceed 3 Pages?

The average employer can receive well over 30 to 50 applications for a single position. In my career, I have had opportunities to interview and work with employers, many of whom have confessed to only briefly browsing through or not even reading resume applications simply because they are too busy. Keeping your resume at a strict maximum of 3 pages will not only encourage your potential employer to read through but also reflect your understanding of resumes, ability to summarize main points and critical thinking skills. I once had a University Professor who was made redundant submit to me a resume of 7 pages, listing every single one of his proud achievements and endeavours in detail. Remember, a resume is a summary of pointers relevant to the employer – do resist the urge to pen down your entire life summary!

 Read also: 5 Questions to Ask at the End of a Job Interview

4. Over Generalised Resume Content: One Size Does Not Fit All

Every job advertisement features different criteria, even if they are of a similar industry. I have come across resumes that listed attributes such as  ‘easy going’, ‘friendly personality’ for a Manager position when keywords such as ‘leadership’, ‘communication’, ‘people management’ would be more apt. Simply copying and pasting a list of keywords will do you no favour as compared to moulding your resume to the listed criteria for every different job advertisement.

In summary, it is crucial to remember the purpose of submitting your resume – you want to make to make a good first impression and obtain an interview for an opportunity to demonstrate your fit for the role. Be sure to make effective use of your 3 pages to list relevant points and create a good impression!

A lot of people think that the interview (and their killer interview questions) is the most terrifying part of their job search. I beg to differ – I think that the most nerve-wrecking part about the job search process is sending out your applications, and then having to sit back and wait for replies. Whenever I send out applications for job openings, I find myself unwittingly checking my email once every 3 hours, and I can’t seem to be able to wholeheartedly focus on anything else. Within 2-3 days, I find myself shooting out emails “checking back on the status of my applications”. [more…]

 

With unemployment looming – and especially after the long, arduous process of filling out online applications, resumes, beautifying portfolios, and networking furiously – one can hardly be faulted for pouncing on every career opportunity and holding on to it for dear life.

 

At the end of the day, in order to spare yourself the torture, it might be better to get to the root of the problem instead of biting your nails. You know what they say: Know your enemy and know yourself, and you can win a hundred battles. In this case, all you need to do is win one battle to find yourself gainfully employed. Here are the top 3 reasons why you never hear back after applying for a job – and what to do to salvage the situation:

 

1)      Your application never reached the eyes of the hiring manager.

In 2012, The Wall Street Journal published a startling piece of statistic: Human eyes may never read as many as 25 out of a 100 job applications, because most resumes are missing the keywords that the recruiting software used by the companies scan and rank. Of course, if your resume does not even reach the eyes of the hiring manager, he or she will not even know you exist.

The simply remedy: Make sure that your resume has the right keywords that correspond with the job opening that you are applying for. At the same time, don’t get too trigger-happy with the keywords, or your resume will not appear readable or coherent even if it is read.

 

2)      You were never qualified for the job opening to begin with.

Make no mistake – when a company puts up a job vacancy looking for a copywriter with 5-7 years of experience, and your resume shows that you have extensive experience in the area of web development, you can certainly be sure that you will not get called up. Many people do “try their luck” by attempting to market themselves as a jack-of-all-trades who can handle any job opening. Well, hiring managers are definitely not looking for someone who might be able to do the job eventually. They want results from the moment the employee steps in the door – and you don’t fill the bill.

Solution? Only apply for job vacancies that you qualify for. If you are looking to explore new areas, don’t bother applying for senior positions in that industry – aim for an internship or even junior positions.

 

3)      Your online profiles were researched, and the hiring manager did not like what he/she saw.

Gone are the days where your social life was off-limits to your professional life. In fact, you can be sure that the hiring manager is going to browse through your collection of partying photos on Facebook and the ugly comments you made about your in-laws on Twitter. Now, that sure won’t make a good impression on you, nor help your chances for nailing that job opening – even if your resume is absolutely glowing.

To resolve such pesky online trouble, start an extensive spring-cleaning campaign on all your online profiles. Start by running a simple Google search on your name, and ensure that all the searches that relate to you look squeaky clean. Ensure that how you present yourself on your social networks is respectable. Don’t go overboard though – companies want employees with personality as well.

 

 Related Article: 4 must-know features on LinkedIn

 

4)      You waited… But never did follow-up.

After sending out a ton of applications, it’s easy to get utterly demoralized and not even bother to check back with the hiring manager with regards to your application status. Taking this step, however, shows him/her that you are serious and very interested in the job opening.

Keep it cool – follow up with a phone call or an email a week or two after to demonstrate your interest and check whether your materials have been received. Hiring managers are usually drowning in a flood of applications, so don’t give up hope so easily.

 

5)      The hiring manager isn’t the only way into the company – you forgot the existing employees!

The corporate world is a world that values connections. If you have a contact in the company who can put in a good word for you, this would definitely magically accelerate your application to the top of the pile. If you don’t, find a way to make a connection – LinkedIn is a fantastic platform to use to see if any of your connections link to someone in the company you are interested in.

Once you’ve found that perfect connection, ask the person out (nicely) and treat him/her to a cup of coffee. Communicate your interest clearly, show that you are the right fit for the company, and you might find yourself on the express route in.

 

 

All in all, don’t waste time feeling sorry for yourself if you don’t hear back from the company. There is always a positive action to take that might land you the job, or even a second chance at expressing your interest and showing your abilities. Do a diagnostic and figure out where it went wrong, and prepare yourself well for the next round.

 

 

LinkedIn is the career networking tool of choice for over 175 million individuals spanning 200 countries and territories. It counts all members of Fortune 500 companies as its members, and 85 of the Fortune 100 companies use LinkedIn’s[more…] corporate talent solutions. Research across 20 countries showed that 82% of participants made successful hires as a result of recruiting through LinkedIn as compared to other social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.

 

However, do you really know how to leverage on the myriad of functions of ‘social networking for work’? Whether you are already in a comfortable job or actively looking for a new one, it’s never too early or too late to build up your profile. Here are our top 4 tips on how you can cut through the clutter and hit the main features on LinkedIn quickly and effectively.

1. RESUME
Have a complete profile. Your LinkedIn profile is also your digital resume, which is like a passport that tells people where you’ve been and more importantly, where you can go. Having a photograph is something that most people neglect, but be mindful that in doing so, you’ll be in danger of being put aside as ‘just another faceless member’. Professional photographs should be used; a profile with a photo is also seven times more engaging than a profile without one. Additionally, utilize a resume builder to turn your LinkedIn profile into a word or pdf resume which can then be hosted on the cloud.

2. EXTERNAL VALIDATION
Having an impressive profile is only part of the equation, as this information is put up by you, not others. Industry connections are good way of supporting the roles displayed on your profile. LinkedIn discourages adding people that you don’t know and spamming them with invitations, but you are able to build your network through existing connections by being introduced to second or third-degree connections. People whom you’ve worked with on previous projects are also able to give detailed recommendations for each other. Also available is an ‘endorsements’ function, which is a simpler way of recommending someone for expertise e.g. in project management, market research, etc without having to type out a lengthy description.

3. INTERESTS AND KNOWLEDGE
Follow companies and groups. These provide an opportunity for people with similar interests to share news and trends as well as post questions and opportunities on a topic. By actively contributing to discussions, you increase your prominence and standing in the community as your responses are directly linked to your profile. This also gives others an idea of your interests and knowledge based on your past experiences.

4. PERSONAL BRANDING
A host of applications are available to LinkedIn users, most of which are free or can be purchased at minimal cost. While they often can be used to enhance your profile, experts warn of keeping such apps to about 5 to reduce clutter.

Our top 5 apps are (in no particular order) as follows:

 Amazon’s reading list – Tell us what you are reading

 

 Tripit – Organise and plan your business trip

 

 Wordpress – Sync your blog

 

 Twitter – Sync your twitter account

 

Slideshare – Share your presentations

 

 

Article adapted from:
http://www.business2community.com/linkedin/10-must-know-features-on-linkedin-0296644#807FGXWcRiehHpvF.99

Secondary sources:
http://press.linkedin.com/about
http://www.booleanblackbelt.com/2011/01/18-linkedin-apps-tools-and-resources/
#.UJMzeG-e1qw

http://www.cio.com/article/593638/5_Must_Have_LinkedIn_Apps_Pump_Up_Your_Profile
http://www.fastcompany.com/1802389/5-linkedin-apps-power-networking
http://mashable.com/2011/07/31/linkedin-apps-sales/
http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/how-linkedin-apps-can-promote-your-business/
http://talenthq.com/2012/05/the-latest-social-media-stats-for-2012/

 

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