Tag Archives: Job Searching

❺ Game-changing Job Search Strategies

Sister Girl Looking

Finding a job doesn’t just happen by magic (wouldn’t that be awesome?). It takes hard work, smarts and what I call a kickass commitment to find a job no matter the hardships or the length of time it may take.   Josh Tolan  the CEO of Spark Hire, a UK based video powered hiring network that connects job seekers and employers through video resumes and online has come up with 5 game changing strategies for successful job seekers.   I am pleased to share Josh’s strategies in this week’s blog.

Know Your Goals

Before setting out on a protracted job search, ask yourself what you really want out of your career. It might seem silly, but perhaps you don’t know your own goals and aspirations as well as you think. By spending some time focused on exactly what you want to get out of your job search, you’ll avoid taking the wrong job and getting stuck on a career path which doesn’t fulfill you.  This is also a great chance to think about whether you should stay on your current path or switch industries. Whatever you decide, make sure you’re truly dedicated and passionate about your goal and you’ll be one step closer to achieving it.    For more about goals read my post 3 Goals for 2013

Never Stop Networking

Networking is a great way to discover hidden job opportunities and to set yourself apart from the pack. It’s important to resolve to make 2013 the year you really focus on building up your circle. Network in person and through social media and make sure to remember to follow-up with your contacts in order to keep them fresh. This way, when a great opportunity opens up, you’re smiling face is the first they imagine. For more about networking read my post 5 Ways to Power-up Your Networking in 2013

Nail The Elevator Pitch

If you’re going to be networking up a storm in 2013, it’s important you have your elevator pitch down cold. Your elevator pitch is the concise way you introduce yourself to new contacts. Make sure you have all the vital information about yourself, but don’t ramble on! You want to make an impression quickly so the conversation can move on from the introductions. This will also be helpful in the interview process, whether it’s in person or through online video, when the interviewer asks you to tell them a little bit about yourself.

Get Visual

Visual media is everywhere you look now, from your college friends posting Facebook pictures to your grandma merrily pinning away on Pinterest. Everyone is obsessed with visual media, and the job search isn’t much different. If you can find a way to make an impression visually, you’ll be more likely to grab the attention of hiring managers. Look into infographic resumes, make sure your social media profiles sport professional pictures, and record a video resume to show off your communication skills. Remember a picture (or video!) can tell a thousand words, so make sure your images are saying the right things.

Develop a Social Media Plan

Social media is an ever-increasing part of daily life. From keeping in contact with friends to networking with potential contacts, social media is an important tool to stay in touch. Make sure you’re not just using social media on a whim when it comes to your job hunt.Take some time to make a workable social media job search plan. This could include groups you should join, discussions you should add to, or Twitter chats you should monitor. Don’t think social media is a magic bullet that will land you a job with no effort! For more about social media read my post Have you Googled yourself lately?

The Bottom Line — Give Yourself a Break

Job hunting is tough, make no mistake. If you spend 100 percent of your time hunting for a job, you will burn out. Don’t forget to relax and take a break occasionally. Make time for the things which are important to you, so you can return to the search refreshed and ready to snag your dream job!

Related Content from The Marben Bland Group

3 Cool Career Tips   How Strong Are Your LinkedIn Connections – Viedo

Power-Up Business Card   Have you Googled yourself lately?

Marben Bland is a social media banding, job search and recruiting expert.  He has helped scores of businesses and people market better to achieve game changing results.  For more go to www.marbenbland.com or email marben@marbenbland.com

 

 

 

3 Cool Career Tips

I am an entrepreneur.  I am a thought leader on social media marketing and job search tactics.  I make keynote speeches, conduct seminars, and write blogs, articles and books. I coach corporate leaders, produce content, market and sell my services for a living.  I travel a lot, meet a lot great people and at this stage of the game make a fraction of my corporate salary. However, I have never been challenged as much, I have never used my brain more and I have never been happier.

While I will never say that I won’t go back to the corporate life.  I do know that I have learned at least 3 cool things that will hold me in great stead in whatever I do.  I present them to you with the hope they will enhance your career.

 1. Never Stop Learning

In order to be (and stay) competitive in your industry, you need to develop expertise. You need to enhance and expand your knowledge base, and you need to update it regularly. Armed with that knowledge, you can show your stakeholders—your investors, your board, or your clients—that they’re getting the best.

So, on an ongoing basis, take an honest look at your skill set and ensure that it reflects the latest trends and developments in your field. Read a lot. Make a regular effort to scan blogs and news articles, attend lectures and seminars, enroll in online or local classes, and find training opportunities in your market.  Yes, this demands an investment of time and resources, but the payoff will come in the form of your new, competitive skills.

2. Nurture Your Relationships

Anyone who runs his or her own business knows that good relationships can mean the difference between success and failure. Surrounding yourself with people who are smart, capable, connected, and interested in helping others gives you access to a wide range of resources—plus, the opportunity to learn from those who’ve “been there.”

Joining professional groups and being active on social media platforms, including Twitter and LinkedIn, are easy ways to start. Comment on the blogs of people you respect—they will notice. (Your comments to this blog are welcomed!!!) You can also create a “Mastermind Group,” a small group of like-minded professionals that meets regularly to share expertise, discuss challenges, and hold each other accountable to goals.

3. Take Risks

Very few successful people got to where they are by playing it safe. So, whether you plan to start your own business or not, consider developing the frame of mind of a risk-taker.

The greatest opportunities involve some measure of risk. And yes, you need to prepare yourself for that course. But, you also need to believe in yourself. You need to know that you have the strength to weather potential failures. And then, ultimately, you just need to go for it.

The Bottom Line

Over the years, I’ve met many successful business owners, corporate chieftains, and faith leaders. In working with these people, I’ve found that the most prolific of them all embrace the same foundational strategies for success: they rely on others, but they know that their very best resources lie within themselves.

So the real cool career tip is this:Each one of us is our own best investment. Devoting time, energy, and resources to bettering ourselves is the most effective way to reach our full potential and ensure success for the future.  ….. Live long and prosper!!!

 

5 Important Reasons Why You Should Vote

It has started in small hamlets, midsize town and large cities.  It has started with everyone from firefighters, to teachers, to veterans and even CEO’s taking part.  It has started with the exercising of a right that attempts have been made to suppress, a right that billions have been spent to influence, a right that people have fought and died for.  What has started? ….Voting has started!

Early voting has started in many of the 31 states where it is in place leading up to the November 6th General Election.  Our government was designed for citizen participation so it is rather shocking to know that in 2008, when Barack Obama faced off against John McCain, turnout was 61.6% slightly up from the 60.1%  turnout in 2004, according to data compiled by George Mason University’s United States Election Project.

If estimates for this November are correct, we are looking at a third consecutive national election where only 6 out every 10 Americans decided to vote.  A recent article in Psychology Today summarizes findings from a US Census Bureau study of why people in 2008 did not vote.

“Topping the list of reasons for not voting is a lack of interest (13%) or a dislike of the candidates or issues (13%),” Psychology Today said. “More than a quarter of registered nonvoters in 2008 didn’t vote because they weren’t interested or didn’t like their choices.”

Many reported illness or disability (15%), especially among older registered nonvoters.  Others were too busy, or had conflicting schedules (17%).  That’s about a third of the registered nonvoters.

Of the remainder, many had some logistical problem with the process:  6% had problems with their voter registration, 3% did not have a convenient polling place and another 3% had some sort of transportation problem.

The Census Bureau study along with other polls and surveys suggest that most of the people who don’t vote are not engaged in their community, don’t find much difference in the candidates or the parties and don’t think their participation will make much difference.

The purpose of this blog is not to promote any candidate; rather, it is to promote voting –voting for the employed, voting for the unemployed, voting for everyone.   If you feel disengaged, discouraged, or downright disheartened and are not planning to vote, let me suggest 3 reasons why you should reconsider going to the polls either now, during early voting, or on November 6th.

1. Voting is a way to speak your mind and let your voice be heard!

Your vote is your voice. When we vote, we are actually telling elected officials and lawmakers how we feel about education, public safety, social security, health care, and other important issues.

2. Your vote really does count!

Remember: there is power in numbers, and when we vote and get our family members to vote, we can truly make a difference. If you don’t vote for what you believe in, others will – and you may not like the outcome.  Don’t believe it?  Look at how important each vote was in these elections:

  • 1960

If only 4.500 voters in Illinois and 2,800 voters in Texas changed their minds, the sum of their votes would have shifted the presidency from John Kennedy to Richard Nixon.

  • 2000

The 2000 presidential election was one of the closest in American history. Al Gore won the popular vote by a margin of 543,895 votes, but George W. Bush became president because he won Florida and its 25 Electoral College votes by only 300 popular votes.

  • 2004

The 2004 presidential election was also close coming down to a shift of 3,000 votes in Ohio giving the election to George W. Bush over John Kerry.

3. Our children are depending on us to represent their voices too!

Because our children can’t vote, we have to do it for them. That’s how we make our concerns about schools, safety, housing, and other issues heard. When we vote, we are looking out for our kids, and their futures.

4. Voting changes communities!

Do you ever wonder why one neighborhood gets passed over for things it needs, while another seems to get it all? One big reason is voting. When we vote, we can get results that we can actually see.

5. Voting honors our history!

Throughout the history of our country voting has been a right that citizens had to fight to gain.  When the constitution was written, only white men who owned property could vote.  The work and courage of freedom fighters have extended voting rights specifically for women and African Americans.  Many believe that the right to vote continues to be under assault with voter ID laws, the reduction of early voting hours, along the purging of voting lists.

Regardless of your view on these matter there is no mistake that the right to vote should not be taken for granted.  I urge you to honor the bravery of those who fought for your right to vote, by exercising that right in this election.

The Bottom Line: It has started…now let’s finish it!

Often times, we voice our concerns to elected officials, but if we aren’t voting, our concerns may not matter at all to them. Voting can actually give you the credibility to make your concerns a top priority for legislators.

– So it has started, now it is time for you to finish it — vote in this election!!!!  — I am Marben Bland, and I approve this blog.

10 Money Saving Tips for Savvy Travers

I travel a lot and as a small business owner I am always looking for ways  to save money while providing a level of conform that will allow me to arrive at my destination refreshed and ready to do my best.   Over the years I have met some really savvy travelers who have devised some brilliant and innovative ways to stretch a buck.   You don’t have to be a frequent flyer to save money, all you have to be is a traveler with a desire to get the best for less.  If you are that kind of traveler here are 10 money saving tips from my savvy traveling friends.

Food

Sure saving money on airfare is great but how often is saving money on food as we travel is  overlooked. Our first 3 tips can help stretch your dollars while having a tasty dining experience. 

1. Book Accommodations That Serve Breakfast
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and one you shouldn’t skip to save money. Before booking your accommodation, make sure they include breakfast in the rate. That way, you can fill up on free food and eat lighter later in the day.

2. Plan Your Meals – Figure out where you will be and eat before you actually go out. This is not just good for your wallet, but your stomach too since you will probably find economical restaurants that tastes great.

3. Stay At Accommodations With Kitchens
Grocery shopping and cooking your own meals is not only healthy, but also budget-friendly. It’s also fun to discover new grocery items you don’t have at home. Even if you don’t want to cook every meal, incorporating it into your eating itinerary will save you a lot of money.

4.Pack Your Own Food For The Airport & The Flight
Let’s face it airports have mastered the food business, the selections even in the small regional airports are rather good as the major fast food players, Subway, McDonald’s and alike are now feeding travelers. However, the prices for that Big Mac or foot long sub are typically 10-20% higher than their off-airport locations.   The TSA will allow passengers to bring sealed packages of store bought and homemade food.  Clearly your selection will be better and you will save a ton of money.  Save big money on water by bringing your own TSA approved empty bottles and simply filling them at airport water fountains.

Transportation    

We all know about Expedia, Priceline and other online booking sites for travel.  Here are 4 tips that can save money as we go beyond the box of air travel.

5. Night Train and Flights – If the transportation is going to be long, consider traveling at night to save money on accommodation and many hours of time. Many people have a tough time sleeping on these, but it’s all mental. Once you get used to it, you will be able to have a good night’s rest.

6. Take the Slower Transportation – If flying is too short for you to take advantage of sleeping while traveling, take a bus ride. When you are sleeping, you won’t mind that the bus ride is 7 hours.

7. Car Rental Coverage – Some insurance and many credit cards have car rental coverage so take advantage of those when you rent a car. All you have to do is pay with the credit card that will cover you. (Just make sure you decline the coverage from the rental company when they ask)

8. Gas Up The Rental Car – If you are renting a car and need fuel, just fill her up with regular gas since that’s what the car rental company uses anyway. Also, decline those services that fills the gas tank up for you. Even though it seems like the advertised price is cheap, they charge you for a full tank of gas regardless of how much is left in there when you bring the car back.

Discounts

The world of travel discounts are there for the taking.  Tips 9 and 10 are about finding and taking those discounts.

9. Reward Points – Even if you aren’t a frequent traveler, sign up for those reward programs since you might qualify eventually. It’s all free anyway and if you finally get enough points, you can get always get something free.

10. Age, Student and Membership Discounts – Many attractions like theme parks, museums and others have discounts for senior, children or students. If you are traveling, remember to take your ID and membership cards (e.g. AAA card) with you that might qualify you for these.

Bonus Tip: Ask

You will be amazed by the upgrades, discounts and freebies that can be obtained by simply asking.  However, be aware that the key to asking… and then receiving is to be nice.  I urge you to be nice to the front desk clerk, the person behind the rental car counter and always the airline employee.   These folks have a difficult job and they deal daily with a fair share of gruff.   A smiling, pleasant and understanding attitude from you will go a long way toward the savings you deserve.     

The Bottom Line

I have always viewed travel even business travel as a wonderful adventure; however the adventure can be so much more fun when you are saving money.  Save travels and have fun saving.

P.S. I am always looking for ways to save money during my travels and to pass those money saving tips to others.  Join the fun send me your tips to me at marben@marbenbland.conm .  I will pass them along in my next travel tip blog.   

When not traveling Marben Bland is the CEO of The Marben Bland Group a consulting firm focused on high-performance leadership, career coaching and business innovation.  Send your comments to marben@marbenbland.com

 

5 Guidelines for creating almost perfect email subject lines

Ah subject lines…

Those less than ten-word phrases that can entice your potential reader to actually chose your email out of the long list of email in the inbox.

Ah subject lines… aren’t they a joy to create?

I wish I could tell you that somewhere out there is the perfect subject line, one that could ensure your emails are opened.  However, I can tell you that creating almost perfect subject lines is possible and it starts with understanding certain guidelines about your readers 5 guidelines to be exact.

1. People do NOT like to have their time wasted

I don’t need to tell you how much people value their time. When it comes to your emails, you have at most, only a few minutes to get your message across. When it comes to your subject line, you have only a few seconds to capture their attention. It’s no surprise then that subject lines with less than 50 characters have open rates 12.5% higher than those with 50 or more, and click-through rates are 75% higher.

2. People won’t act unless told to do so

Before sending your email, stop and ask yourself: What action do I want the recipient to take?

Keep in mind your subject line will be the first impression you’re email has on your reader.   Making the subject it your first call-to-action will improve the likelihood of your email being opened and that action being taken.

3. People respond to numbers

Numbers help quantify any message and put the content people are receiving into terms they understand. Whether it’s a percentage (Learn how to grow your Facebook fan base by 400%) or a list (10 steps to getting more friends on Facebook) or a monetary value (How one business made $5,000 from marketing on Facebook)—numbers can take a complex problem like getting better results on Facebook and present it in a way people will respond to.

4. People are more likely to act when they feel a sense of urgency

Please do not take this as a call to add “ACT NOW!” or “LIMITED TIME OFFER!” to every one of your subject lines. But do take it as a call to consider using urgency to invigorate your customer base. This is especially true if you’re running a promotion, having a sale, or trying to drive attendance to an upcoming event. In these situations, the difference between using a subject line like: “Our annual end of summer sale is next week” or “Only 5 days until our end of summer sale begins” can be huge. One tells people you’re having a sale and the other tells people you’re having a sale and they better start getting ready.

5. People care more about the sender than the message

While the content of your email and the design of your subject line are important—nothing is more important than the relationship the recipient has with the sender (that’s you!). According to a recent Constant Contact study, 64% of people open emails because of the organization it is from; compared with 47% of people opening emails because of what is in the subject line.

Want the best results? Tell people who the email is from in the subject line.

Here are three ways to do that using my fictional business, Pinkham’s Pies:

[Pinkham’s Pies] We’re sharing our secret apple pie recipe

A secret pie recipe from Pinkham’s Pies

Pinkham’s Pies News: Our secret apple pie recipe revealed

The Bottom Line

Your e-mail competes with; other personal e-mails, e-mail marketing communications, work e-mail and those always welcomed joke emails!!!   To be heard above the noise your subject line must set you apart but at the same time you have to establish a connection with your readers that will compel them to open your email just because it is from you.  Ah those subject lines!!!!!

Can you really find a job on Facebook?

Can you really find a job on Facebook?

While LinkedIn represents a pure play on next generation online recruiting, Facebook is instead seeding numerous markets. Facebook has massive user activity and social data, but is still relegated to personal use and content sharing. Everyone knows that Facebook will look to disrupt major online marketplaces (recruiting, auctions, eCommerce, search) etc… but for right now, it seems much more focused on acquiring users and building traffic.

Facebook itself has not focused on recruiting, which leaves a lucrative white space open to technology startups. Recruiting technology companies are fighting to gain market share and traction before either: A. Facebook develops its own recruiting technology or B. Facebook entirely concedes professional networking to LinkedIn.

Technology companies approach recruiting with Facebook in very different ways. Each of these five types of technology have been receiving heavy interest and investment lately:

  • Social distribution: Recruiting technology that focuses on delivering the job through a normal channel, such as a career jobsite or job board, but then enables social distribution through Facebook and other services. These companies use the social graph of the employees at the company recruiting. For example, a job is posted through the company website and then “pushed” out through the company Facebook page and individual employee accounts for magnified and focused distribution.
  • Metadata Layering: Facebook has tons of personal data, but for professional data, it’s about as useful as eharmony. Entire companies are springing up based on the Facebook social graph, which focus on overlaying additional professional data (or metadata) on top of Facebook. These services trust that Facebook will be the de facto standard for user authentication on the web – all that is needed to recruit with Facebook is to add a professional contextual layer.
  • Recruitment Ad Distribution: Facebook is an incredibly efficient advertising platform. Services such as Facebook sponsored stories “socialize” advertisements through the endorsement of friends. These personal ads coming from a user’s own friends seem like an ideal platform for job referrals and recruitment marketing. Some recruiting technology companies have focused on Facebook advertising – delivering efficient ways to measure recruitment metrics, spend, and channel performance.
  • Facebook Page Optimization: Most large companies have begun using their Facebook page as a primary vehicle for branding and company communication. Delivering employment branding and actual jobs through the Facebook page is an obvious strategy – but one that requires expertise that most HR departments don’t have internally. Some recruiting technology companies have focused on the delivery of optimized Facebook pages for recruitment: improving employment brand, measuring engagement, building fans, and efficiently serving geo-specific jobs.
  • Talent Communities: Facebook provides an ideal way to build highly focused and engaged groups of people. However, it’s a bit harder to engage a large group in a systematized way with recruitment campaigns. Additionally, Facebook provides administrators of pages and groups with little user data. Some companies are focused on methods and technology to build large pools of focused talent to meet the recruitment needs of clients.

The potential market for recruitment on the word’s most popular website is obviously staggering. Investment dollars are flocking to support technology startups that promise efficiency of recruiting with Facebook. The incredible success of LinkedIn’s IPO will no doubt increase venture capital interest in social recruitment technology.

The Bottom Line

Unless Facebook itself becomes a job board, the opportunity for startups to leverage its massive social graph for recruiting is clear. Of course, it is not a zero sum game – more than one technological method for recruiting with Facebook may gain traction. Additionally, if any one particular startup emerges as the clear winner, they may include all of these types of services in their products.   Smart Job Searchers should center their social media job finding activities to LinkedIn until a Facebook solution comes online.

3 Smart Job Search Tips for the Class of 2012

Graduation 2012: Is it the most depressing time of the year?

This year nearly two million graduates will be vying for a limited number of jobs. A full-time salary with benefits sounds great however; few new grads will land one. A recent report from Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University Chasing the American Dream: Recent College Graduates and the Great Recession found that just one in two college graduates earning diplomas during the years 2006 to 2011 is now employed full-time. And only 60 percent of 2011 graduates employed full-time are working in jobs that require four-year degrees.

Many of the nation’s leading newspapers paint an even bleaker picture for the class of 2012

High Student Loan Debt – USA Today

The average student debt load tops $25,000 in the U.S., while the job market for recent graduates continues to struggle. More than 95 U.S. colleges report that their 2010 graduates — the most recent data available — owed on average more than $35,000, and 73 colleges reported that more than 90% of the 2010 class had student loan debt, according to an analysis by the nonprofit Institute for College Access & Success’ Project on Student Debt.

Underemployed – The Baltimore Sun

An analysis by researchers at Northeastern University in Boston estimates that last year, about 38 percent, or 760,000, of the 2 million employed young graduates with bachelor’s degrees were “Underemployed” — working jobs that don’t require a four-year degree.
Is this really the most depressing time of the year?

With all of this bad news no wonder some consider college graduation normally one of the happiest times for hard working graduates and long suffering parents, the most depressing time of the year.

All is not lost

In light of the dismal jobs outlook, high student loan debt and slow economic recovery, all is not lost.  An employer survey from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), indicates that companies expect to hire 29,237 graduates this year, up 10.2 percent from 2011. Internship offerings are up 8.2 percent from a year ago. Job postings are triple what they were in 2010. The median starting salary for the class of 2012 jumped 4.5 percent to $42,569 from a year ago, the association reported.

 

3 Smart Job Search Tips for the Class of 2012

Bethy Hardeman who writes on credit, personal finance and the economy for CreditKarma.com, a free credit management website has come up with 3 Smart Job Search tips for the class of 2012.

1. Clean up your online profiles and get networking.

Your future employer can — and probably will — use your social network profiles during the employment screening process. A recent study found that “69 percent of recruiters have rejected a candidate based on content found on his or her social networking profiles.”

The good news is that nearly as many recruiters responded that they have hired a prospect based on his or her positive social media presence. After you’ve cleaned up your social network profiles, start using them to network with companies you want to work for. If you don’t already have one, create a LinedIn profile. LinkedIn is the top network used by recruiters.

2. Perform a financial health check-up.

Now that you know employers might do a credit check, find out where you stand by getting a copy of your free credit report at AnnualCreditReport.com and your free credit score at CreditKarma.com. For those looming student loan debt repayments, set up an account with ReadyForZero, which helps you prioritize your debt. Lastly, monitor your entire financial profile with a Mint.com account. You’ll be able to set up and adjust your budget based on your typical expenses.

3. Become a volunteer or an intern.

If you can’t find a full-time position right away, bolster your resume with some unpaid work. Students who completed an internship while in college reportedly earn nearly 15 percent more on average than those who did not. Check out VolunteerMatch and InternMatch to find a spot that fits with your schedule and skills set.

The Bottom Line

The Smart Job Searcher knows that graduation is truly one of the best times of the year!  As you receive your degree take your destiny into your own hands.  Yes you are competing in a difficult job market; yes you may have student loan debt and yes the outlook for the future may look depressing. But remember that you’re not alone you have a fabulous support system of your classmates, your college career center even +-your parents.  Use them, lean on them they all have a vested interest in you and want to see you employed.