Resolutions for Your Job Search

It’s not too late to start some 2016 resolutions. Maybe the best place to start is your job search! Whether these are small goals, like spending an afternoon working on your resume or more on-going goals like keeping that spark everyday, setting goals can be helpful in getting the most out of your search!

 

Revise Your Resume
Whether it’s adding new information to just updating your format, it’s always a good idea to take some time every 3-6 months to add to your resume. This is the easiest 1-page glimpse a company has of your experience, education and what else might be pertinent to your career. If you don’t have any new skills or volunteering or experience to add to your resume, you might look into new opportunities.

Join a Group
There are many networking groups and job search support groups you can join. It’s always great to get advice from others and hearing that other people are going through the same thing as you. Part of the struggle of the job search is feeling isolated. With a group you can bounce ideas off of or that can bring new ideas to the table.

Update Your Social Media
It is always a good practice to fix up your social media profiles when you start your job search. Make sure that you look professional but personable in on your personal accounts (such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) as well as your professional accounts (like LinkedIn).

Keep that Motivation
We know that one of the toughest parts of the job search can be to keep a great attitude. Some days will tend to get you down. But setting a goal to maintain your motivation.

Get Your Perfect Match
You have plans for your future – and the skills to get you there. The Wilson Group has access to the hottest jobs. Let’s make that perfect match! We don’t just fill a position; we listen to your career goals and needs, and connect you to the right job. No more dead-end interviews; no more mismatched expectations. We’re dedicated to providing the perfect match. To get started on your future, browse our job listings, or submit your resume online. To talk directly with a recruiting professional, call 361-883-3535.

How to Improve Your Personal Branding

shutterstock_201747689

In today’s world, creating a unique and interesting personal brand is vital to your career success. Yes, your resume and cover letter are still important – but companies are gradually placing higher importance on who you are as a person, opposed to what you have done in the past. With that being said, start thinking of yourself as a brand. What do you want people to think of when they hear your name? What do people associate with your name? Once you begin to think of yourself as a brand you can determine what you need to do to cultivate and polish your personal brand.

A great first step in perfecting your personal brand is to develop your own personal website or blog. Use this website as a freedom of expression – your website doesn’t necessarily have to be career-focused. You could develop a food blog, fashion website, or anything in between. What matters is that through this website or blog someone can see who you are – your personality, your strengths, and your values. Cleaning up your social media accounts is also extremely important. Your personal brand is affected by what you portray on your social media, so make sure that your social media and personal brand coexist and compliment one another.

Your personal brand should also show that you are continuously growing and improving. Become an expert in your field – take classes, get unique certifications, and promote your accomplishments. People will notice that you are striving to be the best version of yourself that you can be, which will work to your advantage when others speak of you. Nothing is more powerful in building your personal brand than what your network of contacts say about you and your set of skills, education, and accomplishments.

What may be the most important element when developing a personal brand is differentiation. In order to stand out, you must differentiate yourself. What do you do better than your competitors? What do you do that is valuable and unique? What are you most proud of? If you’re going to have a personal brand, you have to become relentlessly focused on what you do better than your competitors, what adds value, and what you are most proud of.

Lastly, make sure you promote yourself! If you have an amazing personal brand, make sure people know about it. Link your personal website to your LinkedIn, Facebook, and other social media accounts. As the old saying goes, “If you got it, flaunt it!” Having a unique personal brand is essential for your success, so tell people about it. Once you have mastered your personal brand, check out our website and see what opportunities await!

Clean Up Your Social Media

Need some tips on how to fix your social media during a job search? We have the answers! Check out the infographic below!

 

For more help on your job search, check out our website or call us at 361-883-3535.

 

Spring Cleaning for Your Job Search

Spring is finally here and that means spring cleaning is in order. However, we are not talking about scrubbing your floors and getting rid of household clutter. This spring we are discussing spring cleaning to prepare for your job search. In today’s competitive job market it is crucial that the first items you submit to an employer are representing your best self.

Resume:
A resume is essentially an advertisement, and you are the product being sold, therefore, sell yourself in the best way possible. Make sure the look of your resume expresses the up to date look of the industry. If you are still using the same format you have for years, you may need to reevaluate. Make sure that it includes information about yourself currently and has an updated/polished layout and graphics. Be sure you have your resume in different formats such as .pdf, Microsoft Word and text only in case the company needs a different file format.

It is crucial that your resume is only one page. Although you may have more information than a page, a resume surpassing one page will not be taken seriously. Make sure you tailor your resume to each job application you apply for. This way if you have more than a page of information, you can put the most relevant information that relates to the position you are seeking.

Focus on accomplishments within each job experience and include them on your resume. This also entails using concrete details. For example, if you increased sales at a company by 65%, include this in the job description.

Cover Letter:
Since the job seeking market is highly saturated, a cover letter template used across all applications is not going to help you stand out. Employers can recognize when there is a generic cover letter that has the position and company copied and pasted into the blanks.

Tailor your cover letter’s formality to the formality of the company. This means if you are applying for a creative graphic design position your cover letter should look much different than if you are applying for an accounting position. If you are applying for a creative position, use your cover letter to show how creative you are, and if you are applying for a position where results and percentages matter the most, make sure to include concrete evidence showcasing your accomplishments.

Social Media:
Facebook is not the only social media outlet you need to ensure is professional. Make sure you consider all of your social media accounts, such as: Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram, and Twitter. While some photos and posts may seem appropriate to you, they may not be to a different audience, so take some time to consider all the audiences that could be potentially viewing your accounts. With technology and social media becoming so important to employers, make sure when you google your name, nothing questionable appears.

Check your privacy settings. While what you post to your own profile may not seem offensive, ensure that what other people are tagging you in is also appropriate. This means including privacy setting that allow you to review other people’s posts before they are published to your page. Just because you are not direct friends with a possible employer, does not mean there are not ways they could potentially view your profile.

If you need a helping hand with your spring cleaning, The Wilson Group, is at your service. For more tips and information 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.

Don’t Let Your Social Media Accounts Keep You From Getting Hired

p dir=”ltr”>Everyone knows that job hunting is constantly changing. This change has been particularly accelerated because of increased use of online tools from both job seekers and employers. One outlet that is becoming more prevalent is social media. Companies and recruiters make no secret of screening a candidate’s personal profiles during the hiring process, and they do so frequently. While some may be uncomfortable with the thought of a future employer looking at their personal sites, it is a good way to indicate whether or not the candidate’s personality will be a good fit with the company as a whole. Now that you know your personal social media accounts may be under the microscope, don’t let them keep from getting a job!

Content: Make sure what you post is professional, or at least appropriate. Choose your shares, retweets, and status updates wisely. Try talking about information related to the field or company you are interested in. Sharing directly from the company’s profile also helps!

Bio: This information is often forgotten, but equally as important as your content. Even if your content is great, a sloppy or inappropriate biography/interests section can hurt you. Think of this section as your personal resume. Have a concise description of yourself, include some traits and interests, and ‘Like’ or follow good pages. This will be the place where a company can quickly get an idea of your own personality, so make it count!

Photos: A picture says a thousand words. Maybe it’s time to take down those photos from college that you would not even want your parents to see. Don’t have inappropriate pictures lurking around your profile that could damage a future employer’s perception of you! Have a clean profile picture, and clear out any pictures you would rather have out of your employer’s reach.

We hope this helps you in your job search. What are your thoughts on social media and the hiring processes?

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for more updates!

 

 

Don’t Put Your Job Search on Hold for the Holidays

Conventional wisdom holds that November and December are terrible months to look for a new job. After all, everyone has either physically or mentally “checked out” for the holidays, right?

Not necessarily.

While you may see a reduction in the number of positions listed on job boards, a lot is still going on behind the scenes. In fact, if you play your cards right, the holiday season can be a great time to find your next opportunity.

Here are a few tips for your holiday job search:

• Take Advantage of Reduced Competition
Many job seekers buy into the myth that the end of the year is a good time to slack off. That means reduced competition for you and your resume. Also, because hiring managers are receiving fewer resumes, they may see it as a good time to catch up, giving your resume an even better chance of being seen.

• Network at Holiday Parties
Whether you love or dread the constant flurry of parties and celebrations during the holiday season, the fact is that they can be a great place to network. Of course, you’ll want to take a different, more laid-back approach – nobody wants the hard sell on your qualifications while they’re at the eggnog bowl. But it doesn’t hurt to gently mention you’re in the market and see if you get some nibbles.

• Enjoy the Nostalgia Factor
How many times have you reconnected with an old friend around the holidays? People get nostalgic this time of year, so you may have a chance to touch base with someone you haven’t thought of in a while who can help with your job search. Pay attention to the holiday cards you receive and messages on your social sites – it might pay to rekindle an old relationship.

• Ring in the New Budgets
Many departments receive new budgets in January. So, while they may not be looking to start new employees in November or December, they might be ramping up to have people in place for the new year.

We’ll still be in full swing helping job seekers throughout November and December. Be sure to keep an eye on our list of open positions and contact us if you’d like some help with your job search, no matter what time of year it is!

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!

Lessons Learned from Steve Jobs’ FBI File

Steve Jobs' FBI File Teaches Job Seekers a Lesson
The FBI’s file about Steve Jobs, compiled in 1991 when he was being considered for George H.W. Bush’s Export Council, offers a great lesson on being prepared for your employer’s scrutiny. In the file, Jobs’ use of recreational drugs during his youth was revealed, and although people who worked with him spoke highly of his intelligence and abilities, he was also called manipulative and stubborn, especially when he didn’t get his way. In this case, the “employer”— the government —hired Jobs anyway, but in many situations that kind of information would leave your resume in the trash can.

Of course most of the people you send applications to won’t be able to conduct such thorough background checks and interviews…but they also don’t need to. They may already have direct access to you and your history, thanks to your participation in social media.

Whether you’re just starting a job search or are in the middle of one, you should take some time as soon as possible to look over all of your social media profiles. Look at every tweet, every status update, every photo, and ask yourself: “Would I have said this in front of or shown this to my toughest boss?” If the answer is no, get rid of it, either by deleting it or marking it private.

This is especially important on Facebook as the company gets ready to roll out Timeline, forcing every user to adopt the new standard. Here are a few tips:

First, check and see what your profile looks like to the general public (people who have no relation to you), how it looks to a friend, and how it looks to a “friend of a friend.” You can do this easily by going to your profile and clicking the “View As…” button in the upper-right corner, below the menu bar. Make sure you know what a potential employer can see— and what they can see if they ask you to friend them. (They might!)

A second helpful tip: if you go into your privacy settings, you can set what your posts default to in terms of privacy. You will probably want them to go “Friends Only” by default, but if you have divided your friends into Lists on the site, you can specify the individuals who you would like to have see every post.

Also on the privacy settings page is an option called “Limit the Audience for Past Posts.” To the right of this option you’ll see a link that says “Manage Past Post Visibility.” By clicking this link, you can automatically set all of your past posts to be viewable only to friends.

In today’s job market, you need to remove every possible disadvantage…and certain kinds of social media posts can be just that.

Above image © Ben Stanfield

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.

Attach your resume