CAREEREALISM http://www.careerealism.com Career Advice & Job Search Magazine Wed, 26 Nov 2014 07:00:20 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 This is weekly program whether career expert J.T. O'Donnell reviews skills and techniques needed to succeed in your career. She also answers question live from our views. Tune in Tuesdays at 1pm ET on www.careerealism.com to join our weekly Career Q&A! CAREEREALISM clean CAREEREALISM info@careerealism.com info@careerealism.com (CAREEREALISM) Career Q&A with J.T. O'Donnell CAREEREALISM http://www.careerealism.com/home/jtodonnell/careerealism.com/wp-content/uploads/powerpress/CTV_Podcast_Image-01.png http://www.careerealism.com 4 Things To Add To Your ‘Top 10′ Accomplishments List http://www.careerealism.com/top-10-accomplishments-list/ http://www.careerealism.com/top-10-accomplishments-list/#comments Wed, 26 Nov 2014 07:00:20 +0000 http://www.careerealism.com/?p=41223 Employers want to know how you’re going to solve their problems. You must think “accomplishments.” Add these things to your 'Top 10' Accomplishments List.

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In my career as a marketer, I have had the good fortune to advise businesses on developing their brand and go-to-market strategies. I’ve taught companies how to use storytelling in their marketing and how to develop a message that is unique and sticky. Over the course of the last few years, I have transitioned these lessons to personal branding. The mistakes and successes are strikingly common. Everyone wants to tell everyone everything. Businesses want to get into the nuance of the product they’ve developed. And when we talk personal branding, we, too, want to get into nuance and details.

Related: 6 Ways To Show Your Value Without Being A Jerk

And my message to everyone is the same: You’re audience wants to know how you’re going to solve their problem. They don’t care about whiz-bang features; they care about their problems. In personal branding, your boss or hiring manager doesn’t care about the “responsibilities” you have at work.

What they do care about is how your awesome skills will solve their work problems. Which is why responsibilities do not matter; accomplishments matter. You should think about your “unique selling points.” What are the 5-10 things you’ve done that are just awesome? Don’t think “responsibilities,” think “accomplishments.”

The SVP of Google’s hiring team, Lazslo Bock, stated that you should frame your accomplishments as “I accomplished (x) as measured by (y) by doing (z),” which is so brilliant in its simplicity, but, the problem so many of us run into is, “Uh, what did I accomplish?” Or, “I don’t have numbers to support my efforts.”

It is where we always get stuck and stop. We are too busy working to manage our careers in an active way. But it doesn’t have to be really daunting. It can be as simple as making a “Top 10″ List. Could be “Top 5.” Could be “Top 1,” depending on how awesome that “1” is. Then, the question becomes “What goes on that list?” Here’s my point of view: Look at your career to date and examine four specific things:

1. Your favorite project(s).

You loved it for a reason and I am sure it wasn’t because you did a terrible job. You were probably the star. Something about the work you did gave you energy. You may have been in your Zone of Genius and delivered remarkable work. These projects should weigh heavily on your Top 10 List.

If you can tie the project back to tangible results then, #winning. You might not be able to do this, but when you’re crafting the story to support these projects, be sure you get into the specific things you did that were exemplary and how your work impacted the results and then tie it to how you could solve your boss or hiring manager’s problem based on this experience.

2. Braggable moments.

There are things you did at work that you rushed home to tell your spouse or call your mom. Those are braggable moments. Many times, braggable moments come with metrics or stats. These are awesome sound bites for your Top 10 List and tell a quick story on how you’ll solve someone’s work problem.

Maybe you got a 100% employee or customer satisfaction rating! Maybe your idea brought a lift in sales or productivity! Maybe you retained 100% of your staff for three years! You might have retained a client or customer in a difficult situation! These are amazing stories to tell and should be on your Top 10 List.

3. About that raise or promotion.

When you get a sizable raise or promotion, it is for a reason. And they usually tell you that reason, if they don’t… ASK! And by all means, if you don’t get a good answer, do some digging. You can always couch the question that you are asking in the spirit of learning, development, and continuous improvement. The answer you’re given will add quick, easy, tangible examples for your Top 10 List because your company and manager validated the work by saying; you solved our problem in this way and we loved it enough to reward you!

4. Why would you hire (or promote) you?

It’s a simple question that we rarely think about. Why would you hire you? What are the things about you that you think are truly hire-worthy? Then, take a look at how you might be able to back those assertions up with the work you’ve done to prove you’re awesome.

The working world is shifting all the time, and being able to tell a very clear, concise story on why you’re a rock star will pay dividends. The problem is, we aren’t used to this, and it is a new habit to create. But it is an important habit one that will help us to stand out to our managers as well as recruiters. Telling a good story about your unique selling points and the problems you can solve for people is really effective marketing. It works for companies and talent alike.

Related Posts

5 Simple Career Management Tips You Should Follow
Career Management: Are YOU Lazy?
Preparing For A Career Discussion With Your Manager


Tracey Parsons

About the author

With passion and an innate curiosity, Tracey strives to push the envelope to create great experiences for talent. Tracey has been developing digital, mobile and social solutions for nearly 20 years in the talent acquisition space. Currently CredHive’s CEO, she is dedicated to changing the way hiring is done to create a more level playing field for talent. Visit CredHive to learn more.

 


Disclosure: This post is sponsored by a CAREEREALISM-approved expert. You can learn more about expert posts here.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock


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S.M.A.R.T. Goals For Job Seekers http://www.careerealism.com/smart-goals-job-seekers/ http://www.careerealism.com/smart-goals-job-seekers/#comments Wed, 26 Nov 2014 06:51:27 +0000 http://www.careerealism.com/?p=41220 For Job Seekers, S.M.A.R.T. Goals can be a powerful tool to guide the process. Learn how to create, set, and achieve your S.M.A.R.T goals as a job seeker.

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There are two perspectives on S.M.A.R.T. Goals for job seekers, one from the viewpoint of the activities you perform as part of your job search, the other, really understanding the expectations of a position being considered.

Related: 3 Steps To Create Your Own Career Development Plan

S.M.A.R.T. Goals, originally attributed to Peter Drucker, has been interpreted with some various modifications and additions, but generally refers to goals that are Specific, Measurable, Action-Oriented (Attainable), Results-Bound (Relevant), and Time Focused. There’s strong agreement on the “Specific” and “Measurable,” with several variations the “__A.R.T.” elements. Specificity, Measurable, and Time are generally agreed upon as core elements.

Job Search

For Job Seekers, S.M.A.R.T. Goals can be a powerful tool to guide the process. While many individuals are familiar with the idea from its common work application, it’s a new – and much needed – process for many job seekers. And for those unfamiliar with the idea, it can be further complicated by the claim of goals being set for them in their work experience – goals that are absolutely NOT S.M.A.R.T.

So, a job seeker might just set an extremely broad goal, like “finding a new job,” or might set some seemingly more specific goals like:

  • Revise my resume
  • Contact my references
  • Search online for job possibilities
  • Send thank-you e-mails

While setting some goals, any goals, particularly if there written down, is better than not having any goals, these are definitely not S.M.A.R.T. Goals. More importantly, goals like these deprive a job seeker of the power of having S.M.A.R.T. Goals.

Research on goal setting clearly demonstrates the power – and the dangers – of goal setting. Goals that are not S.M.A.R.T. fail to motivate top performance – or lead to inaction. Goals that are set too high (not Realistic) frequently prompt a person’s decision to “give up.” Understanding the dynamics of goal setting can be a powerful tool for a job seeker’s success. Let’s turn the examples above into S.M.A.R.T. Goals:

SMART Goals

For the Interview

Understanding S.M.A.R.T. Goals can also be a powerful tool for a candidate to use during an interview. Job postings, ads, and even job descriptions can be filled with generalities and duties that, at best, describe average performance. A job seeker is frequently asked “Do you have any questions?” Seize this opportunity whenever given.

Unless the following has been made clear to you, ask: “If I were offered and accepted this position, and you considered me to be extremely successful in my first year, what did I accomplish?” Then, probe! And probe whenever you can during an interview when you don’t have clear, specific (S.M.A.R.T.) expectations from the interviewer:

  • Specifically, what do you expect the person in this job to accomplish in the first 90 days?
    • In the first six months?
    • In the first year?
  • The Job Description says the job includes “making sales calls.” How many sales calls is considered acceptable in a day? In a month?
    • How many sales calls is considered “outstanding performance?
    • How many of the company’s sales staff regularly achieve acceptable performance?
  • The Job Description says that job includes “leading the team.”
    • How many people are on the team?
    • How many members are new? Long-time members?
    • Is the team facing in specific challenges? Problems?
    • What resources are available for developing the team? Training? Assessments?
    • What’s the time frame for improving the team’s performance?
  • You mentioned “the usual customer service” responsibilities, could you tell me…
    • What does “outstanding” customer service mean for this business?
    • What kind of training is provided for customer service?
    • What are the customer service expectations in terms of working with colleagues?
    • (Somewhat advanced but a good question) Is compensation tied to the quality of service provided by a person in this job?

These probing questions need to be customized for each individual position. But just like the importance of thoroughly preparing your responses to questions about your experience, this is where you thoroughly prepare by 1) studying available information about the organization and possible position and 2) preparing questions that probe for:

  • Specificity: are you given answers with clear, “action” verbs?
  • Measurable: is there a clear measurement (a number) that indicates a performance level?
  • Attainable: are the expectations achievable, too low (usually not specific) or unrealistically high?
  • Results: are the results of the actions specified indicated?
  • Time: are the expectations framed in terms of when?

S.M.A.R.T. Goals can be a very powerful part of a successful job search – and a powerful tool for a job seeker to use during the interview process – if a job seeker learns and practices the process.

Related Posts

How To Create SMART Goals
Set And Achieve SMART Goals
Promotion Killers: Weak Goals


Jim Schreier

About the author

Jim Schreier is a management consultant with a focus on management, leadership, including performance-based hiring and interviewing skills. Visit his website at www.farcliffs.com.

 

 


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Don’t Eat The Turkey! 11 Foods To Avoid Before An Interview http://www.careerealism.com/interview-foods-avoid/ http://www.careerealism.com/interview-foods-avoid/#comments Wed, 26 Nov 2014 06:34:30 +0000 http://www.careerealism.com/?p=36016 After Thanksgiving, it can be tempting to have a turkey sandwich before your interview. Don't! Here are other foods to avoid before an interview.

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Every year at Thanksgiving, many of us indulge in a delicious meal of turkey, stuffing, and pie.

Related: 5 Ways To Recover From A Bad Job Interview

Regardless of how much you eat, I’m sure you’ll have plenty of leftovers for another meal.

A turkey sandwich, perhaps?

That might be a good idea on a regular day but on the day of your job interview-not so much. Turkey contains high levels of tryptophan, which can make you feel sleepy. You need to be on your “A game” during the interview, and drowsiness will drastically affect your mental alertness. Yawning frequently won’t impress the interviewer, either.

Although turkey is one of the most commonly known foods for causing sleepiness, there are many others that you should avoid on interview days to ensure that our eye lids are not getting heavy at an inopportune time.

Here are other foods to avoid before an interview:

1. Rice

White rice has a high glycemic index; according to research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, people who eat jasmine rice will fall asleep even faster than those eating other rice types.

2. Walnuts

Walnuts are a good source of tryptophan. Researchers at the University of Texas also found that walnuts contain Melatonin, which helps control sleep and wake cycles.

3. Cereal And Milk

According to the National Sleep Foundation, the combination of carbohydrates, calcium, and tryptophan from this favorite morning meal is a recipe for dreamland.

4. Bananas

Saundra Dalton-Smith, MD, an internist and the author of Set Free to Live Free: Breaking Through the 7 Lies Women Tell Themselves exclaims “Bananas are an excellent source of magnesium and potassium, which help to relax overstressed muscles. They also contain tryptophan, which convert to serotonin and melatonin, the brain’s key calming hormones.” When grabbing a fruit on interview days, choose a citrus fruit. They are in Vitamin C and can boost our body’s immune system.

5. Miso Soup

If your interviewer is taking you out to lunch for Japanese, skip the Miso soup.  Miso soup contains amino acids that may boost the production of melatonin. Also, research shows that warm liquids like soup may help you sleep better.

6. Onions, Garlic, Shallots, And Spicy Aromatic Foods

Bad breath is probably the worst bad impression you can make on a recruiter.

7. Beans, Broccoli, And Mexican Food

These ingredients can make you feel bloated, and this in turn can upset your stomach, or worse..

8. Too Much Water

It’s important to keep yourself hydrated, but don’t drink an entire bottle before the interview. The recruiter won’t appreciate it if you have to excuse yourself three times just to go to the bathroom.

10. Greasy And Sugary Foods

French fries may taste good, or perhaps your poison is a Caramel Macchiato with an extra shot of syrup. Unfortunately, sugary foods can wind you down after its effects wear out. Aside from that, do you really want to hand in your resume with grease stains and smelling like a fast-food restaurant?

You are what you eat, so what you eat before the interview is crucial to your success. After that, you can eat all the turkey you want.

This post was originally published at an earlier date.

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Photo Credit: Shutterstock

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Low Wages: 13 College Majors To Avoid Like The Plague http://www.careerealism.com/college-majors-avoid/ http://www.careerealism.com/college-majors-avoid/#comments Wed, 26 Nov 2014 06:00:44 +0000 http://www.careerealism.com/?p=41204 There are many jobs out there that don't pay well - even after years of service. Here are the top 13 college majors you should avoid like the plague.

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The Millennial Generation of college students/graduates has really gotten the short-end of the stick. For those who have already graduated from college or are close to it, they were likely unaware of the consequences of the degree they chose.

Related: The Frightening Fact New Grads Should Know Before Entering The Workforce

Just one generation ago (Generation X), there used to be a joke that you could get a college degree in just about anything and still get a high paying job.

That joke was partially true. In the 90’s, America’s middle class and business sector was booming. Employers needed an educated workforce, and many of them didn’t care what degree you had, just as long as you had one.

Not anymore.

The gig is up. College students can no longer use the excuse that they didn’t know their degree was worthless.

Throughout the past four years, there have been dozens of articles and talk show segments about the high percentage of Millennials who have graduated with degrees in fields that had little hope for high paying job prospects, if any at all.

Don’t let this happen to you. Don’t become a victim.

As a disclaimer, it’s worth noting that success and happiness isn’t just centered around monetary gain. If you happen to choose a career field that fulfills you, then congratulations. Just be sure you have a solid personal finance strategy to offset your low wages so that you’re properly prepared for retirement.

If money is important to you, don’t say you weren’t warned.

Here are the top 13 college majors you should avoid like the plague:

13. Theology:

Common job: Chaplain

Starting median pay: $36,800

Mid-career median pay: $51,600

Difference: $14,800 / 40%

12. Social Work:

Starting median pay: $32,800

Mid-career median pay: $46,600

Difference: $13,800 / 42%

11. Nutrition:

Starting median pay: $41,700

Mid-career median pay: $56,400

Difference: $14,700 / 35%

10. Horticulture:

Starting median pay: $35,200

Mid-career median pay: $47,700

Difference: $12,500 / 36%

9. Special Education:

Starting median pay: $34,500

Mid-career median pay: $46,800

Difference: $12,300 / 36%

8. Recreation & Leisure Studies:

Starting median pay: $35,800

Mid-career median pay: $47,100

Difference: $11,300 / 32%

7. Medical Technology:

Starting median pay: $47,800

Mid-career median pay: $60,200

Difference: $12,400 / 26%

6. Athletic Training:

Starting median pay: $35,000

Mid-career median pay: $45,900

Difference: $10,900 / 31%

5. Pastoral Ministry:

Starting median pay: $36,300

Mid-career median pay: $46,000

Difference: $9,700 / 27%

4. Clinical Laboratory Science:

Starting median pay: $48,000

Mid-career median pay: $59,900

Difference: $11,900 / 25%

3. Early Childhood & Elementary Education:

Starting median pay: $32,300

Mid-career median pay: $40,400

Difference: $8,100 / 25%

2. Human Services:

Starting median pay: $33,800

Mid-career median pay: $41,300

Difference: $7,500 / 22%

1. Child Development:

Starting median pay: $32,200

Mid-career median pay: $36,400

Difference: $4,200 / 13%

 

Info source: Business Insider

Related Posts

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Michael Price

About the author

Michael Price is the author of “What Next The Millennial’s Guide to Surviving and Thriving in the Real World” endorsed by Barbara Corcoran of ABC’s Shark Tank. Book now available at whatnextquest.com. Watch the trailer below:

 

 

 


Disclosure: This post is sponsored by a CAREEREALISM-approved expert. You can learn more about expert posts here.

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4 Reasons You Might Not Get Recommendations On LinkedIn http://www.careerealism.com/recommendations-linkedin-reasons-not/ http://www.careerealism.com/recommendations-linkedin-reasons-not/#comments Wed, 26 Nov 2014 05:50:08 +0000 http://www.careerealism.com/?p=35492 Have you ever asked a LinkedIn Connection for a Recommendation and heard… nothing? Here are some reasons you might not get recommendations on LinkedIn.

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It was easy to get recommendations when you were six. All you really needed was a pocketful of Jolly Ranchers (especially the watermelon kind). Kids you didn’t know were suddenly your friends. They told other kids about you and suddenly they were your friends, too. It was all fun and games until it got hot outside and the Jolly Ranchers got melty and sticky.

Related: 3 Things Your LinkedIn Summary MUST Say

Now you’re a grownup, and a pocket full of Jolly Ranchers won’t do you much good, especially if you’re looking for a job. And the problem isn’t just that you can’t send Jolly Ranchers through the Internet. No, it’s more complicated than that.

Have you ever asked a LinkedIn Connection for a Recommendation and heard… nothing? They days turn into weeks, and you know darn well they’re active on LinkedIn because you see them in your feed? Frustrating, isn’t it? And confusing.

There’s any number of reasons, good and not-so-good, why your Connection may not have responded to your Recommendation request. Here are some reasons you might not get recommendations on LinkedIn:

1. He may not know how to respond to your Recommendation request.

It’s within the realm of possibility that your Connection is a bit of a luddite. Maybe he can do basic things LinkedIn – perhaps a friend helped him set up his profile. But when he got your Recommendation request, he didn’t know what to do. If you are certain this Recommendation is worth the time and effort for both of you, offer a lesson – screen shots via e-mail, possibly, or a visit to his office.

2. She honestly may have forgotten.

Maybe she is in the middle of a big project at work, or maybe she’s overwhelmed for other reasons. If you have every reason to believe this person would give you a good recommendation, it’s okay to send a reminder message or e-mail, “Hey, did you forget…?” You can also send your request again.

  • Go to your Settings and enter your password.
  • Click “Manage your recommendations.”
  • Find the position you’ve requested the recommendation for and click “Manage.”
  • Find the person you want to remind and click on “Resend” next to her name.
  • Edit the message and hit send. I put in an extra “Just a polite reminder :-)” at the top.

3. Maybe you fell off his radar.

While you want to stay away from trading requests per se, surprising him with your own request of him might jog his memory about you. Or recommend a colleague you have both worked with. But no stalking. If your Connection doesn’t recommend you after a reminder – move on.

4. She may have a reason.

You might not want to hear it, but maybe her memories of you are not quite what you had thought they were. You can test the waters here by making a connection that’s indirect and not specifically about seeking a Recommendation – send a news article you think may interest her, or an invitation to a professional event.

If you get a cold shoulder here, it could be a sign that whether she didn’t care for your work performance … or simply doesn’t remember you very well… this is not a person who would recommend you. And that’s that.

A word about the last point. Just as it’s impolite to refuse an invitation by ignoring it in real life, it’s impolite on LinkedIn as well.

It’s okay – no, it’s preferable – to send a note back: “Thanks for the invite. I’m been thinking about it, and to be honest, I don’t remember much about working with you.” Or “I appreciate being asked, but I feel our relationship was more as friends than as co-workers.” You can let her down easy, but it’s better than letting her hang.

And if you feel guilty about that, just give her a Jolly Rancher.

This post was originally published at an earlier date.

Related Posts

How To Ask For LinkedIn Recommendations
Your Essential LinkedIn Guide: Harness The Awesomeness
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Kristin Johnson Award-Winning Resume Writer

About the author

Kristin S. Johnson is a TORI award-winning, 6-times certified resume writer, job search coach, and social media consultant. Her approach is cutting-edge, creative, and kind. As owner of Profession Direction, LLC, she works with professionals and aspiring executives across the country.

 


 

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by a CAREEREALISM-approved expert. You can learn more about expert posts here.

 

Photo Credit: Shutterstock


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5 Tips For Upping Your LinkedIn Game http://www.careerealism.com/upping-linkedin-game/ http://www.careerealism.com/upping-linkedin-game/#comments Tue, 25 Nov 2014 07:00:23 +0000 http://www.careerealism.com/?p=41194 Want to win an interview? Don't risk losing out to another job candidate because of a bad profile. Here are five tips for upping your LinkedIn game.

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In the game of life, you play to win. You do whatever it takes to be successful. But when it comes to your career, there might be one area you’re neglecting – and you could lose some great opportunities if you continue to ignore it.

Related: 10 Places To Promote Your LinkedIn Profile

A bad (or lazy) LinkedIn strategy could hurt your personal brand, which can hurt your overall career success. Without knowing it, you could be scaring away valuable connections.

(Trust me, you don’t want to be like THIS guy…)

Want to win an interview? Don’t risk losing out to another job candidate because of a bad profile. Here are five tips for upping your LinkedIn game:

1. Give your profile a facelift.

Kick the dust off of your old, stale LinkedIn profile and give it an update. Here are a few things you should do:

  • Change your photo (keep it professional)
  • Update your Headline and make it easy to read
  • Craft a cohesive Summary that accurately reflect your specialties
  • Add numbers to your work experience (i.e. Managed 10 employees)
  • Upload major projects or achievements
  • Update your Top Skills section
  • Add volunteer work
  • Add organizations you’re involved in
  • Update your Honors & Awards section

For more in-depth tips for doing all of these things, check out this article!

2. Search for professionals working in your field/at your target company.

I’m constantly on the look out for people who work in my field or work at companies I admire. Many times, they’re just sitting in my “People You May Know” list. So, I try to casually browse through it at least once a week.

Another way you can do this is to search the company or industry you’re interested in. LinkedIn has a great search function that allows you to see find people, companies, groups, and more.

3. Connect with people – the RIGHT way!

Nothing bothers me more about LinkedIn than when someone tries to connect with me using that generic, vague message, “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.”

(Or my least favorite, most creepy invitation, “Since you’re a person I trust, I’d like to add you to my Linkedin network.”)

C’mon guys. If you really want to connect with someone, don’t be lazy – it shows. Be specific. Tell him or her WHO you are and WHY you want to connect with them. You will have a better chance of getting accepted and building a valuable connection that way.

Tip: You may have noticed that sometimes it doesn’t give you the opportunity to write a personalized LinkedIn invitation when you try to connect with people. Not sure why this happens, but if you want to avoid it, make sure you go directly to the person’s profile page and connect with them there. Otherwise, it will just send a generic invitation.

4. Nurture your connections.

Don’t just connect with people and forget about them. What’s the point in that?

Check in with them once and a while. Share relevant articles with them. Endorse them. Give them a recommendation. Doing these things will help you stay relevant to your connections and increases the chance that they’ll think of you when an opportunity presents itself.

5. Keep a ‘fit’ LinkedIn presence.

Stay active. Share articles in your Feed. Write a blog post on LinkedIn’s platform once and awhile. Update your profile on a regular basis – whether that’s every week, two weeks, or month. Just stay on top of things! It will be easier to keep up with that way.

Need More Help?

Wheww! That was a ton of information. If you need more help improving your LinkedIn profile, check out LinkedIn Level + Up. You’ll get a full critique of your LinkedIn profile, delivered via private video from a CareerHMO expert, access to 25 short video tutorials, and so much more!

 

Learn More

 

 

 

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This Linkedin Lawsuit May Make You Consider Deleting Your Account http://www.careerealism.com/linkedin-lawsuit/ http://www.careerealism.com/linkedin-lawsuit/#comments Tue, 25 Nov 2014 06:45:28 +0000 http://www.careerealism.com/?p=41202 Like other social sites, Linkedin is advancing their ad platform, which is why they’re facing a class-action lawsuit. You should be concerned. Here's why.

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Social media has destroyed privacy, and it’s not the users we should be worried about. It’s the developers of the platforms.

Related: What Your Social Media Says About You To Employers

In 2010, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg was on record stating that “the age of privacy was over.” He went on further to explain, if he were to create Facebook again today, user information by default would be public, not private as it was for years until the company changed dramatically in December.

When the founders, co-founders and developers of social media platforms are confronted with the question of privacy, they often answer the question with a pseudo-philosophical response about how the world is evolving and everyone is becoming more connected.

This is nonsense. The real reason these platforms are continually exposing more of their user’s private information to the public is to monetize their platforms.

As a social media marketing manager for seven years, I’ve seen social media rise since it’s infancy. I’ve also done a great deal of ad buying. One of the things that’s always been a hinderance to conversions (leads and sales) has been the lack of information social platforms such as Facebook or Twitter offer to advertisers. This makes for terrible conversion rates because the demographic you advertise to is too broad. As such, Facebook is constantly on the prowl to gain more personal information from their users.

Linkedin has apparently taken notice of advancing their ad platform as well, which is why they’re facing a class-action lawsuit.

You should be very concerned.

The lawsuit alleges that a product developed for premium users (typically job recruiters or employers) violates the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), a law passed in 1970 to protect people from being unfairly denied access to a mortgage, credit, or employment based on a background check or credit report.

The product being referred to is Linkedin’s “Reference Search” tool.

This tool allows premium users to check the references of a Linkedin user and send them a private message using Linkedin’s Inmail system.

This opens up Pandora’s Box for obvious reasons, because it allows a recruiter or employer to contact a prospect’s former co-workers or employers to ask for details about a job candidate that are not allowed to be legally obtained, according to employment laws in most states.

Instead of simply saying yes or no to the question, “Do you deem person X hireable?” a conversation could carry on about a person that leads into illegal territories by exposing excessive information about a job candidate that leads them to being denied for a position.

This is especially true when considering that a prospective employer could contact a former co-worker of a job applicant who may not have a favorable opinion of that person. That opinion could then be used to sway the opinion of the hiring manager or recruiter, and therein lies the problem. This is a gross violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. At least, I think it is.

In case you think this is all a bunch of theories and hypothetical circumstances, you’d be wrong. One person involved in this class-action lawsuit has had a prospective employer come forth who admitted to denying her a job because of a reference she contacted from Linkedin.

Linkedin claims that the information premium users have access to is information that the user’s have already made public, which takes them off the hook legally.

Unfortunately, that’s true.

By nature of Linkedin’s public resume’ platform, your career history and everyone you’ve worked for and worked with is on display for the entire world to see. So, is Linkedin really responsible for the abuse committed by those who use their platform?

The answer to that question is irrelevant.

The real question is, do you feel comfortable continuing to be a member of Linkedin, knowing that the information you opt to post publically can be used against you?

The most frightening thing is that you could have been denied jobs and didn’t even know it because backdoor conversations could have been taken place without your knowledge.

Related Posts

6 Social Media Mistakes To Avoid While Job Seeking
Social Media Guidelines For Young Professionals
Why You Should Connect With Co-Workers On Social Media


Michael Price

About the author

Michael Price is the author of “What Next The Millennial’s Guide to Surviving and Thriving in the Real World” endorsed by Barbara Corcoran of ABC’s Shark Tank. Book now available at whatnextquest.com. Watch the trailer below:

 

 

 


Disclosure: This post is sponsored by a CAREEREALISM-approved expert. You can learn more about expert posts here.

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5 Obstacles To Overcome As A First-Time Manager http://www.careerealism.com/first-time-manager-obstacles/ http://www.careerealism.com/first-time-manager-obstacles/#comments Tue, 25 Nov 2014 06:30:37 +0000 http://www.careerealism.com/?p=41171 Did you know 50% of managers have received NO training? It’s no surprise that first-time managers have many obstacles to their success. Here are some tips.

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It’s not surprising that first-time managers encounter numerous obstacles to their success. Recent polls have shown that 50% of managers have received NO training before they started their job as a manager. This is a source of many of the obstacles that first-time managers encounter.

Related: 5 Things To Consider Before You Take That Management Job

Here are five obstacles to overcome as a first-time manager:

1. Thinking That You Will Have More Authority

Perhaps the easiest trap that new managers fall into is thinking he or she has an increased degree of authority, along with an increase in responsibility. Individuals who are proactive, standout performers are used to having autonomy and the authority to make their own decisions. When they enter into a managerial role, the tendency is to expect more of the same, perhaps even an increased level of authority. Once they are in the managerial position, they often discover that they are less autonomous. In fact, they are much more constrained in this new role.

Demands are made upon them from all fronts – their subordinates, their boss, their peers, those inside and outside of their immediate organization. There are relentless, and sometimes conflicting, requests on a daily basis. One new manager who was quoted in the Harvard Business article “Becoming the Boss” by Professor Linda Hill said, “Becoming a manager is not about becoming a boss. It’s about becoming a hostage.”

2. Thinking That You Know Everything

Another common mistake that new managers make follows close on the heels of this first pitfall – thinking that you know everything. If you have been used to “calling the shots” so to speak, you expect that your opinion is valuable and that you have an answer for everything.

As part of a team, your individual contribution is valuable to the team, but you are only responsible for one part of the team’s efforts. As a manager, you now have the responsibility for creating a cohesive team by coordinating everyone’s opinions. And, if the quality of the team is on par with your own skill level, you’ll need to be able to consolidate the knowledge of each of your team members, no longer relying solely on your own expertise.

3. Not Understanding The Difference Between Managing And Leading

How well a new manager learns to handle these first two obstacles highlights the new manager’s need to learn the difference between leading and managing. The most significant difference between the two is to know when to delegate. A manager keeps control over the team by overseeing the tasks that need to be done.

A leader guides the process by identifying the ‘big picture’ and balancing the tasks that need to be done by delegating them according to the skills and strengths of the resources on the team. A leader knows that teaching the team members to ‘lead’ makes for a stronger team. The manager still has the ultimate responsibility for the team’s success or failure. It is the manager who lets other team members participate who is able to retain his authority rather than lose it.

4. Not Supporting Your Team

New managers need to realize that their team is a reflection on them and that they need to set a good example for their team. The delegating of tasks may flow down through the team, but the responsibility for the team’s behavior flows up to the manager. Managers earn the credit for their team’s successes and must also be ready to accept the responsibility for the team’s overall performance. A manager needs to let the team know that they have a champion who is in their corner. The team needs to feel protected by their manager. “All for one and one for all.”

5. Trying To Be Someone You Are Not

Finally, on this list of advice for overcoming obstacles as a new manager, is the importance of being yourself. You need to know your own strengths and understand your goals as a new manager. You also need to realize that it is important to let your team know who you are – your plans, your goals, your needs, and your expectations of them individually – and as a team.

Keep the lines of communication open so that you can be genuine with your team.  The sooner you set this tone with them, the better the outcome will be for you and for your team.

Each day from day one will bring you team building opportunities. These opportunities will be enhanced by your attention to overcoming these obstacles.

Here’s to you and your team’s success as you embark on your management role!

Related Posts

10 Mistakes New Managers Make
Managers: Get Things Done More Efficiently
Why Soon-To-Be Leaders Must Be Readers


Anne Marie Cooley

About the author

Anne Marie Cooley is a Management Services Professional with 25+ years of experience helping others succeed by finding their strengths! She is also a virtual career coach at CareerHMO.com. Visit her coaching page today!

 


Disclosure: This post is sponsored by a CareerHMO coach. You can learn more about coach posts here.

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5 Things Every Employer Wants To Hear In An Interview http://www.careerealism.com/every-employer-wants-hear-interview/ http://www.careerealism.com/every-employer-wants-hear-interview/#comments Tue, 25 Nov 2014 06:14:03 +0000 http://www.careerealism.com/?p=25943 Ever wonder what a potential boss wants to hear in an interview? What can you say that will increase your chances of receiving a job offer?

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Ever wonder what a potential boss wants to hear in an interview? What exactly can you say that will increase your chances of receiving a job offer? I recently heard some great advice that lined up with my previous experience as a human resources manager, and so I thought I would share this great advice with you!

Related: #1 Interview Question You Must Answer Correctly

Here are five things to communicate during an interview that will convince the employer you’re a great hire.

1. You Will Never Have To Tell Me What To Do Twice

Every employer wants to know they can give you instructions once—and you’ll get the job done. I guarantee you that no employer wants to micromanage or ask an employee more than once to do something—no matter what it is.

2. I Will Complete The Job/Assignment You Give Me With Excellence

The employer wants to hear that, no matter what, you are going to make it happen—that you’re going to get the job done and do it to the best of your ability.

3. I Am An Agreeable Person

The employer wants to know that no matter what situation you are put in, you’re going to be a team player—and that you’re not going to create confusion, conflict, problems, or challenge their authority.

4. I Am Easy To Correct And Instruct—I Am Teachable

If there is something that’s not getting done, or if you’re not doing it correctly, the employer wants to know that they can approach you to discuss the situation and that you’re not going to fly off the handle or think you’re superior.

5. I Am A Loyal Employee

I will not talk poorly about you. I will do everything I can to promote you and help promote this business. While I am working for you I will always be the best employee—whether for 1 year or 10 years. And should I leave, I will be rehireable, and I will leave in an amicable and responsible manner.

Prospective employers nowadays understand that asking employees to make a commitment to stay for 10—or even 25 years—just isn’t realistic. Loyalty isn’t about longevity. It’s about being a committed and responsible employee while you’re with that company.

These five points are essentially what every employer wants to hear from a potential employee. Of course, this isn’t an end-all, be-all of an interview, but if you can communicate these very important points to a prospective employer during an interview, it will help the interviewer to feel at ease, sense that you are a great employee, and believe that you would be an asset to the organization.

This post was originally published at an earlier date.

Related Posts

How To Answer Tough Interview Questions Effectively
Top 3 Interview Questions You Should Ask
5 Ways To Build Confidence For An Interview


Jessica Holbrook Hernandez | Expert Resume Writer & Personal Branding Strategist

About the author

Jessica Holbrook Hernandez, CEO of Great Resumes Fast is an expert resume writer, career and personal branding strategist, author, and presenter. Want to work with the best resume writer? If you would like us to personally work on your resume, cover letter, or LinkedIn profile—and dramatically improve their response rates—then check out our professional and executive resume writing services at GreatResumesFast.com or contact us for more information if you have any questions.


Disclosure: This post is sponsored by a CAREEREALISM-approved expert. You can learn more about expert posts here.

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5 Tips For Dealing With A Hot-Head Boss http://www.careerealism.com/5-tips-dealing-hothead-boss/ http://www.careerealism.com/5-tips-dealing-hothead-boss/#comments Tue, 25 Nov 2014 05:20:22 +0000 http://www.careerealism.com/?p=15383 It can be tough dealing with a hot-head boss. But how can you handle his or her hot temper and keep your cool at the same time? Find out.

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It can be tough dealing with a hot-head boss. But how can you handle his or her hot temper and keep your cool at the same time?

Related: 7 Things Your Boss Won’t Tell You

If you missed quasi-celebrity and full-fledged entrepreneur boss Patti Stanger berating her stylist, then you don’t watch enough reality TV. And, you missed a great learning moment.

Here’s What Happened

Millionaire Matchmaker and entrepreneur boss, Patti Stanger, arrived at a fitting with her stylist and wasn’t happy with the selection. (For the guys: fitting = trying on clothes, stylist = person who picks pretty clothes.) I’ve watched enough Rachel Zoe to know celebrities don’t always like the first dress a stylist shows them. But rarely does it turn into a confrontation like we see in Patti’s clip. Regardless of the stylist calm demeanor, or her attempts at providing solutions, there was no stopping the verbal beating that was coming. Patti was in fight mode.

Here’s Why It Happened

Simply put, it’s a matter of fight or flight. An area of the brain called the amygdala reacts to stress by triggering either a fight or flight response. By nature, entrepreneur bosses are fighters. They fight to make their ideas a reality everyday despite the inevitable stress. It’s the secret to their success; a willingness and tenacity to keep charging forward, no matter what. This means that in stressful situations, a Fighter Entrepreneur’s knee-jerk (heavy on the jerk) reaction will be to go to battle. The problem arises when the fight trigger can’t be controlled.

A Fight To The Death

Accompanying the fight response is a surge of adrenaline. A great example of this also comes from reality TV. Watch as New Jersey housewife Theresa loses control when her fight response is triggered. (Get past the 15 second ad – it’s worth the wait!) For almost two full minutes, she is incapable of regaining her composure! Toward the end of the clip her actions resemble a seizure. She just can’t stop the adrenaline.

Patti’s reaction was similar, albeit slightly more controlled. (Patti could at least string sentences together.) Patti made her point, rudely but clearly, early on. Yet she continued with the abuse. Like the New Jersey Housewife, she couldn’t stop the rush. Career fitness Coach Malcolm O. Munru suggests this is a type of bullying in the workplace, and offers five ways to deal with this Fighter Entrepreneur:

1. Don’t Try To Calm Them Down

When Patti’s stylist tries to cool the situation, Patti’s pitch raises notably and she screams, “Nooooo. I want you to understand what you did wrong!” It was already abundantly clear what the stylist had done wrong. But Fighter Entrepreneur Patti is still rushing with adrenaline, and any attempt to calm her simply amps her up.

2. Don’t Try To Rationalize With Them

When the fight response has been triggered, there is no rationalizing. Patti makes this clear when she starts the conversations with, “Don’t talk!” Not a rational request among professional colleagues.

3. Don’t Argue With Them Or Further Provoke Them

Threats typically fly during these types of rants. Patti issues several vague threats including “You’re never going to be a stylist,” and “Nobody has ever done that for you.” Joining in the fight, will only make this worse.

4. Don’t Try To Win The Argument

You won’t.

5. Keep Your Cool

Patti’s instructions, “Get your ******* feelings out of the ******* room,” are words to live by. Although in this situation, she was the one in need of this advice. Oh, and watch more reality TV.

Bob Sutton, author of Good Boss, Bad Boss and the No @$$ho!e Rule, says abusive bosses like Patti Stanger foster ineffective employees. He cites a study showed nurses who feared humiliation and punishment from supervisors didn’t report drug-treatment errors. Maybe Patti’s stylist should find one of these nurses and commiserate over a tranquilizer cocktail.

My Advice: The Fighter Entrepreneur lacks the ability to respect others. If this is your boss, run while you still can. Stuck there? Then develop thick skin and get ready to spend a lot of time in your mental happy place.

This post was originally published at an earlier date.

Related Posts

What To Do When You Have A Bad Boss
How To Work Your Bad Boss
6 Traits Of Bad Bosses


Photo Credit: Shutterstock

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