Make the Most Out of Your Summer

The summer months are right around the corner bringing sunshine, vacations, and warmer weather with them. While many people may spend these few precious months traveling or vacationing, it’s often helpful to get a foot in the door when it comes to careers. Temporary summer jobs are an excellent way to begin a career that could, one day, turn into a permanent position. Acquiring a summer job can be difficult, however. We have put together some tips for helping you land that perfect summer job.

Make Sure Your Resume is Rock Solid– An organized and easy to read resume is a staple in applying for summer jobs. Since resumes are the first impression an employer has of you, it is important that your resume contains all pertinent information related to your past employment and skills. Also remember to keep your resume straightforward and orderly; previous jobs should be listed in chronological order from most recent to least and skills and awards should also be included.

Make Your Interview Count– According to USA Today, employers decide whether or not to hire a candidate within the first minute of an interview. Arrive early, bring your resume (and portfolio, if applicable), calm your nerves, and enter your interview with your head held high. Dress well, make sure you got a good night’s sleep the night before, and make sure to make eye contact with your interviewer.

Branch Out– Due to the short time frame allotted by summer jobs, why not try applying for jobs outside of your comfort zone? Try looking for positions in fields different from your norm, but that you still have experience in. For example, if you normally work in public relations for creative firms, try reaching into corporate jobs and trying public relations there.

In addition to these tips, acquiring references from past employers and creating a LinkedIn page can also be beneficial to your summer job search. Likewise, we would love to help you find the perfect summer job match! For more information on the services we provide or if you wish to set up an appointment, please visit our website!

Spring Cleaning Social Media

Believe it or not, when searching through potential job candidates, employers do check personal social media accounts. Regardless of if you have an award-winning resume or stellar references, unprofessional social media posts could be the deciding factor between being hired or not. We’ve compiled some tips for cleaning up your social media, hopefully helping you turn it from personal to professional.

Facebook:

With both personal posts and photos available for perusing, Facebook is a great place to start your spring social media cleaning. First impressions are important, meaning the first things employers will see when reviewing your profile is your profile picture and cover photo. Go through these images, deleting anything an employer would find unprofessional: photos showing alcohol, various stages of undress, inappropriate gestures, and offensive terms or slurs in comments should be deleted. Next, visit the privacy page located under settings. Facebook’s privacy settings let you customize who can see your posts. The default setting is that everyone, regardless of if they are your friends on Facebook or not, can see what you post. We recommend changing this setting to “Only Friends”, meaning only your friends on Facebook can see your posts. Chances are, employers will not be your friends on Facebook during the job search, nor will they add you. Next, review your Activity Log. All activity on Facebook is compiled here; take a while to go through these posts, deleting anything inappropriate.

Twitter:

Like Facebook, Twitter accounts have a profile picture and cover photo. Make sure these pictures are appropriate. If they’re not, change them. Though it may be a tedious process, personal tweets could contain compromising content. Take the time to check for and delete any unsuitable tweets, including those with bad language or crude images.

LinkedIn:

Because of its professional nature, LinkedIn is much easier to monitor than Facebook and Twitter. However, to reach your maximum professional potential on Linkedin, it’s important to make sure your information and job experiences are up to date. Exercise some self restraint on what you post, however. There’s no need to post every job and skill you’ve ever had, rather list the most important and recent ones. Consider using a headshot for your profile picture. If you don’t have one, it may be a good idea to have one taken professionally. If you decide that you would rather take one yourself, make sure it is done well. Dress to impress, stand in a well lit area against a solid colored background, and ask a friend to photograph you from the shoulders up.

Networking Tips and Tricks

This year The Wilson Group wants to encourage you to network. Networking can look much different with the technology of today, as you can do so with social media sites such as LinkedIn, by emailing friends, or by attending networking events! We want you to get your name out there!

Networking Events
Go to at least one face-to-face networking event a week. You can use Google or your daily newspaper to find them. Make sure to leave your resume at home but bring some business cards and start talking. Get comfortable starting conversations and just talk about the event and the other person, taking interest in what they have to say. If it’s appropriate, within a couple of minutes, describe your own situation. Include previous experience and that you are looking for a new opportunity.

Networking on LinkedIn
There are three major ideas to remember when updating your LinkedIn profile for networking for a new job.

  • Get detailed. Make sure that you add as much detail in your profile as possible. A detailed profile is a strong profile. Try and add as much experience as you can and be specific as to what skills you have. Add all of your contact information to make it easy for businesses to contact you if they have an opportunity that fits you.
  • Proofread. Businesses will often look at your LinkedIn profile to see how good you are at communicating. If your LinkedIn profile has a typo, the company will think that you are not a very skilled writer, which can hurt your chances at getting a job. Treat your LinkedIn account as you would a resume.
  • Get a good picture. A picture is worth a thousand words. If your picture is professional and has a good resolution, you are really well off. If not, have a professional picture taken of yourself that you could use in a work environment.

Networking With Friends
Make sure to get old classmates, colleagues family and friends involved in your job search. Drop an email just catching up and make sure to include that you are looking for a job. This is an easy way to find out if there are position open in businesses that aren’t posting. You may also want to make job search business cards to carry around with you in case you see someone while you are at the gym or grocery store.

For more help finding a new job, check our website. Also be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Professional Networking

Networking is often a tool that goes unused during a job search. Yes, it may be intimidating reaching out to others. However with the market now flooded with plenty of candidates, employers are finding more value in applicants with trusted, mutual connections. By properly utilizing connections, your chances of receiving a job offer are increased. So how do you network?

 

  • Use LinkedIn…correctly!

    • First, understand that LinkedIn is not just another social media platform. Use your account professionally. Join networks that are relevant to your field and previous experience. Start discussions that are professional and thought provoking. Also, use an appropriate picture. Be sure your profile picture is not pixelated or grainy. Make the investment to have a nice professional photo taken by a friend or photographer in good lighting. Make sure the picture is appropriate for your industry, and that you are presenting yourself the way you would like to be seen by your potential employer. Your picture should be memorable, not boring.

  • Maintain your connections

    • Don’t overwhelm your contacts, but also don’t underutilize them. There should be a healthy balance of communication with the people in your network. Avoid constantly emailing or calling a particular person, but communicate with them often enough so they remember who you are.

  • Get involved

    • Join professional organizations around your area that relate to your field. Not only is this a resume booster, but you will get to know other professionals around the area. Also, see if your alma mater has an alumni association in town that meets regularly. Who knows, maybe one of your former college classmates could be the key to finding your dream position.

 

Networking is great both during a job search and after one. Even after you have a job, maintaining your network can be a great way to know other professionals and industries. You never know when you may need to utilize those connections again!

We hope this advice helps you in your job search and through your professional career. Also, be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for even more updates!

 

New Year, New Career Goals

Tablet PC computer with 2013 New Year counter isolated on white background. Vector illustration.

This is the time of year when everyone resolves to shed bad habits and adopts healthy new ones. It’s also a good time to adopt some healthy new habits for your career. Whether you want to find a new job or just move up the ladder, here are some career tips for the new year.

Spruce up your LinkedIn profile
Whether or not you’re seeking a new job, your LinkedIn profile should be complete and current. Even if you aren’t currently in the market, it will help you make connections and network with people in your industry
One word of caution: if you are making several changes to your profile at once, you might want to go into your settings and turn off your activity feed so your current boss doesn’t see your edits. Even if you’re just updating and not job searching, it might be misinterpreted!

Freshen up your resume
It’s always good idea to have your resume ready to go, even if you’re not in the job market. You never know when opportunity might knock and you’ll need a current resume to send out.

Take some time to add your current or last job to your resume. It will be easier to remember key achievements and accomplishments now while they’re fresh in your mind.

Think about your career goals
It’s easy to get complacent in your job, especially if you’ve been there a number of years. The new year is a good time to make some goals for your professional development. Whether it’s taking a class, attending a seminar or simply committing to reading an article a day about your industry, it all helps.

If you’d like some advice on updating your resume, your LinkedIn profile, or general career planning assistance, please contact us. Also, please be sure to check out our latest list of job opportunities and send us your resume if you see something that looks like a good match.

It Takes More Than a Profile to Get Noticed on LinkedIn

You’re on LinkedIn, you’ve filled in all the blanks on your profile, and you’ve made some connections. Congratulations – you’re off to a great start! But there’s more work to be done.

If all you’re doing on LinkedIn is accepting the occasional connection request and scanning your newsfeed, you’re missing out on several features that can help boost your visibility and establish your industry expertise. It’s not enough merely to have a presence on LinkedIn; if you want to catch the eye of a potential employer, you need to step up and stand out.

Here are three LinkedIn features that can make the difference between getting noticed or getting passed over.

1. Updates
LinkedIn allows you to post updates that will appear in the newsfeeds of your connections. It is a great way to maintain visibility among your connections and also to show that you’re engaged in your industry.

Remember that LinkedIn is a professional social site, so it’s not the place for the same type of personal updates you might post on Facebook or Twitter. Ideal topics include timely, industry-related articles from trade publications; the “LinkedIn Today” section at the top of your newsfeed; or reputable, or high-profile sites such as Mashable or Forbes. Engaging, open-ended questions about trends in your industry are also great topics for updates.

2. Groups
LinkedIn groups provide a great way to network with other people in your industry. It is also a way connect with recruiters, who often participate in industry-specific groups for the express purpose of connecting with new talent. Groups are also a good place to learn about job opportunities that may not be posted elsewhere.

There are two ways to participate in a group. You can start a discussion by asking a question or sharing a link to an article, or you can comment on discussions other group members have started. Sharing your opinions and participating in conversations will help boost your visibility and establish your expertise in your field.

Another benefit of groups is the chance to increase your connections. People are often more open to accepting connection requests from group members than they are to accepting unsolicited requests.

3. Follow Companies
LinkedIn allows you to follow companies in much the same you would follow someone on Twitter. When you follow a company, all of their updates, which often include job listings, will appear in your newsfeed. Paying attention to the kind of content they share may also help you get a better picture of trends, concerns and culture at your target companies, so when you do get that interview, you’ll be ahead on your research.

If you’re looking for a good place to start increasing your LinkedIn presence, we invite you to join the discussion on our own LinkedIn group and follow The Wilson Group company profile page.

5 Tips for a Great Social Profile Photo

 

When you’re searching for a job, you can be sure that at some point, a potential employer will check out your social profiles. In fact, they may even find you and contact you through LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, or other social sites.

That being said, it’s important to take a careful look at your profile photos. We’ve all heard cautionary tales about what not to do – don’t use a profile pic of you doing a keg stand at a frat party, for instance. But what makes a good one? Here are some tips.

Actually HAVE A Profile Photo
For some reason, be it laziness, shyness, or privacy concerns, some people forego a profile photo altogether. This can be a big mistake when searching for a job. Don’t believe me? Look at this eye-tracking heatmap and notice what recruiters look at first and for the longest period of time on your LinkedIn profile.

Let Them See the Whites of Your Eyes
Your face should be clearly and prominently featured. Avoid photos taken from a distance, and if it’s a shot of your entire body, crop it to show yourself only from the shoulders up.

Quality Counts
Your profile photo doesn’t have to be taken by a professional, but it should look like it was. Don’t use photos that are blurry, grainy, or too dark. Also, don’t use trendy filters. They may be fun to experiment with on Instagram, but they don’t look professional for a profile photo.

One at a Time, Please
Your profile photo should show you, and only you. Don’t use the photo of you and your boyfriend on your last vacation, or you in the middle of a big group. It may be possible in some cases to crop yourself out neatly, but most of the time you’ll end up with an arm or a shoulder or some other odd body part in the frame.

Keep It Simple
If possible, your photo should be taken against a solid background. Your face shouldn’t be competing against floral wallpaper or the clutter in your home office.

It you don’t already have a suitable photo for your social profiles, it only takes a minute to have a friend snap a quick pic that will work. If you need tips on profile photos or any other aspect of your job search, please contact us – we’d love to help!

TIME TO STRIKE UP A CONVERSATION

We are eager to get you matched perfectly with the right talent or the right employer. Our years of experience translate to great starts.

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