Job Hunting Online: Using Social Media Wisely

by Brian Cormack Carr on January 24, 2014

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There can be no doubt that social media platforms are key players in the job-hunt and career-change process today. Sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, and Meetup are great ways of connecting positively with other job-hunters, career-changers or new business-builders. So it makes sense to start using social media wisely.

Social media can also be a great way of identifying the “hirers and firers” you need to contact within a workplace in order to make the direct approach outlined in Chapter 12 of my book How To Find Your Vital Vocation. It’s becoming increasingly easy to find out who does what in an organisation through their web or social media presence. Some companies have Facebook pages or LinkedIn profiles which are publicly viewable, and which can offer real insights into what their working environment and organisational culture is really like. Asking a polite question in one of these groups can be a great way of getting some useful information “straight from the horse’s mouth”.

Josh Tolan, CEO of SparkHire, points out in a post on the Mashable blog that it’s possible to being using social media wisely to “crowdsource” inquiries into such areas as decision-makers, corporate culture, and even likely interview questions. He says:

“If you’re not directly linked with anyone in your company of choice, you can always ask a connection to help you reach out. Utilize big social media networks like Facebook and Twitter to find current and former employees, then ask if they have a few moments to talk about the company. Most professionals are eager to help others and make new contacts and will be thrilled you turned to them as thought leaders.”

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A note of caution, however. Be aware that recent estimates suggest that as many as 37% of employers use social media sites to “screen” candidates, and of those who do, 65% say they do it to see if the job seeker presents himself or herself professionally (CareerBuilder survey, 2012).

By all means, use social media to network, to present your wares – your own website or social media profile can work as an extended business card or CV  – and to investigate the field of your Vital Vocation. Just make sure that the “you” you present online is one that makes a positive impression. If you wouldn’t be happy for someone to see you a particular way in “real life”, you shouldn’t want them to see you that way online.

All is not doom and gloom. The CareerBuilder survey mentioned above also indicated that 29% of hiring employers using this method found something positive on a social media profile that prompted them to offer the candidate a job.

Brad Schepp, author of How To Find A Job On LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Google+, has some useful advice to offer:

“Make sure any profiles you write are free of typos, the information is coherent and applicable to your industry (or job you’re trying to land), and your photos present you in a favorable light. You can verify the applicability of the information by checking profiles of others in the same field. Don’t assume an employer will only be checking you out on LinkedIn. They may also check Facebook, or even Twitter and Google+.  The story you tell on each site should be pretty much the same, although it’s fine to adapt the material for the site.”

So – what changes will you be making so that you can start using social media wisely in the search for your ideal work?

Photos courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Thanks for reading! My book HOW TO FIND YOUR VITAL VOCATION: A Practical Guide To Discovering Your Career Purpose And Getting A Job You Love is now available worldwide. Click HERE to purchase through Amazon.
WANT TO STAY IN TOUCH? To receive immediate notification of new posts, please click here and enter your email address. Don't forget to join my mailing list so you can download your free job-hunting e-booklet.  You can also follow Vital Vocation on Twitter @VitalVocation and join the Vital Vocation Facebook Page.

7 Ways To Beat The Back To Work Blues!

by Brian Cormack Carr on January 9, 2014

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Most of the working population reading this will know exactly what I mean – this week, the post-Christmas back to work blues have hit many of us at least as hard as the storms currently lashing North America.

Whether they come after Christmas or after a holiday earlier in the year, we regularly have to face up to them. So why not have some tricks up your sleeve, ready for the next time the back to work blues rear their ugly little heads? Here’s my simple seven-step plan to help ease your re-entry into the world of work.

1) Start Preparing Before You Leave

I know, I know – this little tidbit comes a bit too late for the post-Christmas back to work blues. But next time, bear it in mind. Take some time before your break starts to tie up as many loose ends as possible. That doesn’t mean working like a whirling dervish to do two weeks’ worth of work in four days (although you’ll probably do that anyway) – it means prioritising. Think about what unfinished business you’d least like to return to after the holiday, and make an effort to get that business done.  It’ll make a huge difference to your return.

2) Take Some Extra Time Off

It almost became a running joke I had with myself: every time I’d return from a holiday, I’d spend the first few days back at work griping and moaning that I wished I had booked just a few more days off. Now I do it. I make sure I have at least two days between the end of my “proper” holiday – for example, a trip abroad – and my return to work. They’re not very exciting days – I spend them relaxing, catching up with domestic chores, sometimes even taking a peek at my work inbox so I can whittle down the inevitable pile of emails that are waiting for me – but they’re invaluable days. When I do go back into work, I feel that little bit more rested, and a whole lot more prepared.

3) Ease Back Into It

If you’ve made a good go of point 1, then you probably won’t be returning to any big bear traps. You can help keep the back to work blues to an absolute minimum by making sure you don’t take on anything too taxing on your first few days back in the office (or the farm, or the space station – you know, wherever you work). Try not to commit to any late meetings, for example. Cut yourself some slack, for goodness’ sake!

4) Give Yourself Something To Look Forward To

The first week back is always the toughest. After that, you’ll be back into the groove of work. Make the first week of back to work blues as comfortable as possible by giving yourself something later in the week to look forward to. A trip to the cinema on Wednesday? A nice meal with the family on Thursday? A hot date on Friday? Or maybe all three…

5) Be Prepared To Say No

No one said you have to be a hero when you get back to your desk. There’s always a risk you’ll be asked to take on a whole load of work when you return (often by colleagues or bosses who haven’t been off work during your break). Obviously, in some circumstance you’ll have no choice – but in others, you will, and you should be prepared to exercise it. There are many ways to give an honest “no” when asked to do more work than you’re prepared to do. For example, you could tell them “Sorry, I have quite a bit of catching up to do after my break, so I won’t be able to get to this during this week. If you still need it done next week, I’d be happy to consider it then.”

6) Have Another Break Lined Up

As painful as it is to end a holiday, it’s always pleasurable to contemplate another one! Why not have your next break lined up before your current one is over? That’s likely to make the back to work blues just that little bit more bearable.

7) Find Your Dream Career

Finally, the most effective tip of all: the best way to beat the back to work blues is to not have them in the first place. One way of doing that is to ensure the work you do is the work you love. If you’re unhappy in your current job, you deserve better – so perhaps now is the time to start going after your dream job? Whether it’s setting up that home business, studying that course you’ve been considering, going for that promotion, or changing paths into an entirely different career, going after your ideal work is a great way to really beat the back-to-work blues! Instead of putting energy into feeling sad and despondent, get ready to take action – and start following your star!

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SPECIAL POST-HOLIDAY

BEAT-THE-BACK-TO-WORK-BLUES OFFER!

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To help ease your way back into the work jungle, I’m keeping my job-hunting, career-changing guide How To Find Your Vital Vocation at its lower holiday price for just a few more days.  Take advantage of it while you can!  As one reader said, “for 5 bucks you may just have bought your ticket to your dream career!”

Click on the book cover below to go to your local Amazon store, and straight to the book’s special offer page. Happy New Year!

Photographs courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

{ 0 comments }

Thanks for reading! My book HOW TO FIND YOUR VITAL VOCATION: A Practical Guide To Discovering Your Career Purpose And Getting A Job You Love is now available worldwide. Click HERE to purchase through Amazon.
WANT TO STAY IN TOUCH? To receive immediate notification of new posts, please click here and enter your email address. Don't forget to join my mailing list so you can download your free job-hunting e-booklet.  You can also follow Vital Vocation on Twitter @VitalVocation and join the Vital Vocation Facebook Page.

Happy Christmas: FREE eBook offer!

December 14, 2013
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It’s Christmas – so how about giving the gift of an ideal career? If you’ve read my book How To Find Your Vital Vocation: A Practical Guide to Discovering Your Career Purpose and Getting a Job You Love, then you’ll be aware that it’s packed full of practical information and advice on how to find and […]

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Finding Your Ideal Place of Work

December 6, 2013
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This is the first in a series of articles on the importance of finding the right working environment for you. Finding our ideal place of work is an important element in securing a working life that nourishes us.  The wrong place of work – or one which requires a stressful commute or difficult working hours – […]

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Your Job Interview Strategy

November 4, 2013
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The moment is here. You’re about to head into the interview. You’ve prepared – you’re dressed appropriately, you’ve reminded yourself to be warm, polite and professional. You’ve done your research. You’ve read my series of job interview strategy articles: How to Research a Prospective Employer Job Interview Preparation: Make it Count! 9 Job Interview Questions […]

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How to Research a Prospective Employer

October 25, 2013
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It’s very important to develop an understanding of your prospective employer before the interview. The reasons are clear: By understanding the company you are aiming to be hired by, you’ll be able to demonstrate this at an interview, which is likely to impress the interviewer. By understanding the psychology of the interviewer, you’ll be able […]

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Job Interview Preparation: Make It Count!

October 22, 2013
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Attending a job interview is one of the most nerve-wracking parts of the job-hunt or career-change process. When the job in question is your dream job, the stakes are even higher and the pressure can feel higher still. Let’s break the job interview process down for you in a way that makes it manageable and easier to […]

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4 Job Interview Questions You Should Be Ready to Ask

October 12, 2013
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In my last post, we looked at 9 Job Interview Questions You Must Be Able to Answer.  Today, we turn the tables on the interviewers!  Here are some interview questions you should be ready to ask them. You’ll almost always be invited to ask an interviewer some questions. If they don’t invite you, politely ask […]

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9 Job Interview Questions You Must Be Able to Answer

October 7, 2013
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A job interview can be a scary prospect, and sometimes job interview questions can seem even scarier.  Sometimes, they can feel more like traps on an obstacle course than a series of interactions designed to bring out the best in you.  Rather than worrying about the tough questions you’ll be asked, prepare yourself by working […]

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How to Take a Field Trip into Your Ideal Work

October 4, 2013
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Earlier this week, we looked at the process of planning a dress-rehearsal for your ideal work by using a practice goal (see Part 1 and Part 2).  A vital part of this process involves taking an actual field trip to gather information. Here’s how to do it: Field Trip Fun! 1. Gather information. Find out as much as you possibly can about […]

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