When it comes to using social media for professional purposes, most people would agree that LinkedIn is a good place for jobseekers to connect with potential employers and find a job. If you are on the position of actively seeking for new employment, you can take advantage of the network you have built and get in touch with recruiters who search for talents in your field of expertise.

Among other features, the headline is probably the most crucial element of your LinkedIn profile. Headline is a 120-character descriptive column that will appear in search results along with your name, photo, and location. This section is the key if you want potential employers to visit your profile and find out more detailed information about you. To spark their interest to click on your profile, you should create a memorable and appealing headline by describing what you do and what you have to offer.

To let recruiters know that they are on job hunting, some people might put phrases such as ‘seeking new opportunities’, ‘looking for new challenges,’ ‘open for new roles’, or ‘considering new employment’ on their LinkedIn headline. By using such phrases, your profile will show up on the search results when recruiters type these keywords on LinkedIn search. The aim is to directly tell them that you are keen to explore new opportunities.

While it is obvious that you should make the most of your headline to entice recruiters and land a job, do you really need to state and indicate that you are seeking new opportunities on your LinkedIn profile?

On the positive note, advertise your availability on your headline could be a direct signal for recruiters that you are open for new employment. This will help them to find the right candidates who are really looking for job, instead of just guessing and meeting those who are not really interested in moving on from their current companies. Not mention, some recruiters do source for active and available candidates by typing related keywords on LinkedIn search.

However, announcing on LinkedIn headline that you are seeking new opportunities could also mean that you are currently unemployed. Some recruiters and hiring managers could interpret such statement as someone being too desperate about getting employed. Some other might tend to avoid candidates who put similar phrases on their profile, because they might not be interested in hiring someone who have been laid off from their job.

Additionally, using such phrases on your headline will not help your profile stand out from the crowd as it does not communicate specifically about your skills, work experience, career goals, or even the industry itself. Oftentimes, recruiters end up wasting their time for nothing when finding that candidate’s resume is not relevant with the roles they are seeking.

If you are currently employed, announcing that you are open to new opportunities is not a wise move, too. When your employer knows about this, they might wonder why, how, and when you want to intend to leave the company. Such presumption could create awkward relationship between you and your boss, even when you are still working there.

Towards the end, either you are currently employed or unemployed, it will be better to avoid putting such phrase on your LinkedIn headline. Instead, you can activate LinkedIn’s Open Candidate feature to let recruiters know your availability for job offerings. If you are on incognito search, your current employer will not find out this because LinkedIn will hide such information from your boss and only premium recruiters can see this availability.

Read also: 5 Healthy Work Habits for Healthier Office Life

What contributes the most to your success in career and business? Is it strong educational background? Years of experience? Or great deal of money? While it is undeniable that those variables are crucial, but there’s one thing behind every successful story: The power of networking.

When it comes to business, networking is the key for efficacious practices. Be it job hunting, working on a new project, promotion, or any other professional achievements, getting to know the right people who can leverage on your skills, is more important than talent in itself.

It doesn’t matter if you have all the required qualifications for your dream job. Unless you meet someone who can ‘bridge’ you to the potential job, you will end up going nowhere in your career.

Then what does the word ‘networking’ actually mean? In general, networking is simply the way you exchange information with other people in the professional world. The truth is, you can build network with everyone, everywhere. It could be someone you just met on the subway, someone within your field of expertise, or someone outside your industry. The wider your network is, you can gain better business perspectives, expand reach and get more career opportunities along the way.

While this might sound simple, networking is always easier said than done. Due to many reasons, some people might find it difficult to build and broaden their networks. In fact, networking is not merely achieved. Rather, it is seized through real, genuine efforts. Be it formal or informal networks, every time you reach out and communicate to others, there is always a chance that they can form a part of your growing network circle.

So, how do you harness the power of networking in your next job search? Here’s how:

  1.    Change your mindset

Before taking to the streets and meeting new people, it is crucial to change your mindset and garner new approaches or views about networking. Networking is not just about how addition of new people in your networks and reaching out can help you in your next job search. Rather, it is a game of give and take.

If you want to be helped, then you should be willing to lend a helping hand, too. To make the networks work, you should be able to build upon a healthy relationship formed by trust and faith.

  1.    Develop a strategy

Every successful action always comes from a well-thought strategy. And it applies to networking as well. To help you make a concrete move, you will need to prepare a tangible strategy. Such as for example, you can schedule to attend networking events such as job fair at least two or three times in a month. Or, you can prepare yourself by sharpening your communication skills.

  1.    Prepare your weapon

While networking is not necessarily about professional relationship, you should always be ready to seize on an opportunity to meet people along your life’s journey and build on your connections. If you are on a job hunting spree, then leveraging on your connections with a well-drafted resume should help you land the job of your dreams.

  1.    Be proactive

Networking is not given. Rather, you should put efforts to gain it. Therefore, you should be proactive in your job hunting process. Internet might have everything you need without much hurdles and painstaking efforts. However, nothing beats the ingenuity of getting out and meeting the real people.

You can take advantage of social groups and professional events such as seminars, job fairs, or discussions to find networks.

  1.    Leverage on social media

In-person meetings strengthen relationships, and social media helps build and maintain it. You can leverage on social media channel to flourish professional networking. Using social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter could be a great way to stay in touch with friends, colleagues, or someone you’ve just met. You never know who might turn up to you with a lucrative business deal or a job offer in store.

  1.    Stay positive

Getting rejected from companies you have always dreamt of working, might impact your morale and self-esteem. However, don’t lose out on your zest for life. Rather, stay positive and face tough times with a smile. Don’t be afraid to grab every opportunity that knocks on your door and embrace change with positivity.

Next read: Should You Say Goodbye to Rigid Career Plans and Go with the Flow?

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

The presence of well-connected networks, availability of Internet on Smartphones has made it possible to stay connected anywhere on the move. This advantage, does come with its share of drawbacks to impact personal and professional lives at a point in time.

Now you can also connect with managers and supervisors at home or vice-versa connect with family and kids when at work. This has in turn, made it extremely difficult to draw a work-life balance and keep personal-professional lives separate. While we all intend to do so, somewhere you do notice a blending of both – that doesn’t facilitate productive time away from work or even at work.

The two seem to collide and cross path with each other at every other occasion. In an era where technology has greatly impacted our work-life patterns, you need a strategy to set clear line of demarcation to keep the two realms of your life distinctively apart.

Due to work demands and tight deadlines, many people continue to place emphasis on work over personal life. This is not a good practice as it causes both mental and physical stress due to imbalance between work and life. Separating the two is very crucial to ensure that your body gets enough rest to meet personal and professional life challenges.

While this might sound highly impossible, here are several ways you can make efforts to keep personal and professional life separate:

  • Maintain time discipline

Professionalism could mean anything, and unfortunately, staying at the office until midnight does not count on that. Rather, all you need to do is follow the main rule by coming to work on time and leaving work on time. If your work hours starts at 9, try to arrive 10-15 minutes earlier so that you still have time to prepare yourself before focusing on work.

When your work hours end, avoid lingering around in your cubicle to complete the ongoing tasks. Unless they are very urgent, you can always come back tomorrow to finish them.

  • Overcome procrastination at work

If you are the type who could get easily distracted, then it could make you procrastinate the job, it is time you change the bad habit. Find out what distracts you and try to minimise it as much as possible when you are working. This way, you can use your work time efficiently and more productively.

  • Create different social media accounts

In the present day, social media is no longer used for personal purposes and entertainment alone. Major companies are now using social media to network and drive engagement through relationships with customers, employees, and potential talent.

However, you are not advised to blend personal and professional information in one social media account. It will be better if you could use two separate accounts for work and private purposes.

For example, it would be more convenient to log in Facebook and connect with family, relatives and best friends. While for business connections, you can always use LinkedIn to stay in touch with colleagues and business partners.

  • Find activities outside work

Do not make your job as the only identity to define your personality. As a way to refresh your mind from the daily work fatigue, you need to do something different from what you have always done in the office. Find a new hobby which has nothing to do with your job role, such as gardening, photography or cooking. Once in a while, you might also need to take some time off to travel, have vacations, or simply hang out with non-work friends.

  • Keep personal issues at home and professional issues at work only

Just like how you have to leave all work affairs when you are at home, conversely you also have to leave all personal affairs when you get back in the office. Whether it is a problem with your partner, children, or parents, you should be able to put them aside for a while and shift your sole focus to the project you are working on and execute tasks on time, without procrastination.

Next read: Backstabber at Work: The Signs and What Should You Do About It

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Fifteen minutes before a job interview could be the longest fifteen minutes ever in someone’s life. Job seekers frequently prepare the needed documents at home and generally, you will be there early for the interview. (You won’t want to be late!)

So, you have arrived 15 minutes before the interview appointment and wondering what you should do? That 15 minutes would be the most crucial for you and make it to your advantage!

Don’t be too nervous, stay calm!

Keep calm while waiting for your turn is one thing to remember if you do not want your body to release stress hormones. Stress hormones could affect your ability to think clearly, and that will be bad, isn’t it? When you already in the interview room, maintain the calmness and focus on the interviewer. Not only can this help you give the best answers as you have prepared, but it also helps to project confidence too.

Always arrive early, but don’t go straight in yet!

Lateness frequently gives a negative impression of the interviewee. Always go early but on time! Yes, you have reached 15 minutes earlier, but you can wait for about 10 minutes before entering the company. Too long a wait could increase your anxiety and nervousness. Use the 10 minutes to calm yourself and revise what you need in your mind.

Be friendly to everybody that you meet in the office!

Friendly greetings are always a good start! This action increases the comfort feeling, your confidence and significantly leaves a good impression too. Some of the people you have greeted in the office might just play a part in your interview process!

Too much rehearsing

Rehearsing over and over again would make your answers seem to be scripted, so keep in mind that the interview is a conversation and believe in yourself that you could answer those questions smoothly. Let it flow!

Don’t check your email, social media accounts, and voice mail

Turn those off and put your mobile phone away! Young job seekers often do the same thing before doing something important in their lives: posting a status on social media accounts. Yes, you can do that but not within just minutes away from the interview! Set your smartphones to silent so that it don’t disrupt your interview session.

Last but not least, Check out www.jobiness.com and land yourself a great career! Remember these five top tips to perform your best in front of the interviewers!

See also : How to Answer These 4 Most Common Interview Questions

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Social networking sites are now considered as time capsules. Remember those embarrassing college pictures from Facebook? Well, whether you want it or not, you cannot do anything about them now.

Many have seen it and many probably have talked about it. How about those negative comments on a certain issue? Do they give you many sleepless nights as they might be seen by your future employer?

Most of us now are so reliant on the internet world. Many see it as an avenue for leisure, fun, entertainment, and others consider it as their workplace, their venue to pay the bills. We are so into the benefits of easy information dissemination and joining the bandwagon that we are forgetting our very own responsibilities. Of course social media and the internet give us a lot of advantages.

However, there are also disadvantages. Everything can be shared and viewed publicly if not filtered properly. A person who wants to take revenge on you or do some damage to your name can definitely make use of this technology to destroy your good reputation.

If you are worried by these cyber-bullying and cyber-crime issues today, you can definitely escape those fears by hiring online reputation managers.

These people are partial technical experts, IT gurus and they specialize in giving their customers online makeover. They burry negative search results and promote contents that highlights their customers’ desired branding.

An online image makeover is needed mostly by people who once in their life became victims of the bandwagon and is now wishing to clear their names because of professional reasons such as business and job employments.

The boom of the internet industry gave us a lot of good stuff but also a lot of not so good stuff. Anything negative you have posted and everything someone posted about you will stay forever in the internet world. These managers act like big erasers that they hide or better yet, fully erase those bad memories for you to start anew.

The internet can be a very big jungle for an individual who just formerly wanted to be “in” with the others without any knowledge of taking its revenge in the future.

Bad reviews and negative feedbacks about a certain person can ruin his business, his scholastic life and even his married life. This can be a very practical and easy way for your enemies to destroy your life.

Positive write-ups and feedbacks are really needed especially if you are a seller (it can be merchandise or service) as this will be used by some of your future clients as a guide in making purchasing decisions from you.

Actually, the answer for this negative bulk of information about you is not really erasing the past but it is all about highlighting your best. We are now living in a pull economy. People, employers and customers find out about your business through the internet and it is just right to give them very pleasing, appealing and truthful facts about you and your business.

 

Gone are the days when companies rely solely on job boards and recruitment agencies to recruit talent. Today, social media is becoming part of the recruitment marketing mix as companies start to realise its pros: jobs can be filled faster due to social media’s high usage rate and immediate response time; a larger pool of qualified candidates will know about the openings through social networks; and low cost with high return on investment (ROI) amongst other benefits.

 This is not surprising with the massive growth of social media over the years. 2012 saw a 305% increase in the number of social media users since 2009. More popular sites have attracted hundreds million of users – LinkedIn (150 million), Twitter (300 million) and Facebook (845 million). Today, social media has become a part of our lives and we use it for so many purposes – shopping, networking and searching for jobs (and even love) online!

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This social media boom has created an opportunity for companies to tap on more channels to increase the visibility of their employment brand online and promote interaction with candidates. What is surprising is while employers see social media as a useful recruitment tool, they are not actively using it to recruit talents according to the 2013 XpertHR survey - only 46% of employers use it.

SEE ALSO: Why Your Employer Branding Matters

How can companies leverage social media for employer branding?

Besides consistent communications of the Employee Value Proposition (EVP) to candidates and employees, it is important that internal and external communications work in tandem to optimise employer branding online. Some suggestions are to:

  • Build online profiles

Create a full company profile which communicates the EVP to candidates. This also serves as an example for employees on the tone, style and content of the company’s social media presence.

  • Support virtual interaction

Use a channel to promote ongoing conversations for candidates to ask questions and connect with employees. This can draw on the passion of employees.

  • Engage in online forums

Employers and employees can contribute to online groups and provide useful information about company, and leverage employee testimonials to make its online presence more genuine for candidates.

  • Encourage employee profiles

Train employees to use social media platforms – build their personal brand and promote the EVP. This sends a strong signal to candidates that employees are proud to endorse their company.

  •  Think about multiple profiles

While this may not work for a smaller company, a larger one may want to consider multiple profile pages such as different job functions or geographical locations to target candidates more precisely.

  • Think before you jump onto the social bandwagon

It is important to have a strategy for social media recruitment – what your company wants to do and how to do it. Here are some points and questions to consider:

  • Set objectives

Be clear about your business, marketing and social media goals. Do you want to drive recruitment, build employer brand awareness or reach new candidates?

  • Understand target audiences

Know the social graphics of your candidates. What are they doing online and who are their social influencers?

  • Validate through social listening

Conduct a market analysis. Do you understand your employer brand presence in the social space? What are your competitors doing online?

  • Define your strategy

Establish resources, roles and stakeholders, and plan for budget. Who is the social strategist and community manager in your company? Do you have funds for headcount, tools, training, development and consulting?

  • Define implementation plan

Select the channels and plan the content. Do you want to use LinkedIn, Facebook and/or YouTube? What are the types of posts? What is the content calendar line-up?

  • Define rules of engagement

Work out disclosure/ethics, social media, community and response policies. Have your employees attended social media training? Do your company and employees know how to response to comments posted in the social media?

  • Establish ongoing measurements

Set quantifiable goals and metrics to monitor. Do you want to raise awareness about your EVP or increase website traffic? How will you track the responses?

Social media will continue to be an employer branding trend in 2013 and it is important that employers leverage on social media to reach the talent pool, as part of the communications strategy. Companies who use only one-way or two-way communications may not be able to reach out effectively and efficiently to candidates and employees. Engaging the target audiences and promoting interactions about the company in the social media can help companies to build trust in the EVP and strengthen their employment brand.