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If you’re looking the fastest way to get a job, this article will walk you through everything you need to know.

I’m going to show you 3 reasons that networking is the best way to get hired quickly, and how to use proven networking methods to land a great job (even if you have almost NO current network).

Let’s get started…

3 Reasons Networking is the Fastest Way to Get a Job

Now, you might have a huge network, or you might be thinking “I don’t really have any network at all.”

Don’t worry… I’ll explain how anyone can use networking to get hired, and why it’s so important if you want to get a job quickly and without months of busy-work and stress.

First, let’s look at 3 reasons why this is worth your time at the beginning of your job search if you want to get hired faster.

1. Leverage Your Time and Get People Working to Help You

Time is the biggest constraint in a typical job search.

There’s only one of you. And there are only 24 hours in the day.

So the biggest limiting factor in your job search is usually your time and energy.

When you use your network and have other people referring you to companies, thinking about who they know in THEIR network that could help you, or thinking about past colleagues they could put you in touch with… you’re eliminating this roadblock.

Now multiple people are putting time, effort and thought into getting YOU hired.

2. More Interviews from Less Work

Fact: Companies and hiring managers trust somebody more when that person is recommended to them by a person they already know and trust.

Think about it… if your friend or colleague vouches for someone you just met, and says, “this person is great,” you immediately trust them more, right?

Employers are the same.

So if you are recommended or introduced to a company, rather than applying for the job via their website or a job board, it’s the same thing. They’ll be far more likely to interview you.

Why does this matter?

At some point, job searching and interviewing becomes a numbers game. Sure, you could get one interview and one job offer, but it’s not likely.

Why? There’s some randomness involved, and not every job is a perfect fit for you anyway (even if you have the best interview skills and preparation).

So it is probably going to take a couple job interviews to find the right fit.

3. Skip the Line

Sometimes, you’ll even skip a conversation with a recruiter or HR and go immediately to an interview with the hiring manager.

That’s the power of being introduced to a company by someone they know.

Even if not, it’s likely the company will move you through the interview process faster if the hiring manager knows somebody in his/her network vouched for you. They’ll be more eager to talk with you.

They might even forgive a few mistakes if part of your interview went badly. You still need to impress them to get hired but maybe they’ll forgive one or two mistakes early in the interview if somebody spoke highly of you.

Now that you’re hopefully convinced this is worth doing, let’s look at how to get a job through networking…

How to Use Networking to Find a Job

Now, if you don’t have a big network or if you just graduated and are looking for your first job after college, you might not have a huge network.

That’s okay. I’ll walk you through what to do. You can also use these steps if you have a huge, well-developed network.

The general idea: Do the best you can with what you have. You might have to use other methods after, like applying directly to companies, applying on LinkedIn, or job boards, that’s fine.

But you should still start with whatever network you have.


  • Friends/classmates from school
  • Family members
  • Family members of good friends
  • Former college professors and academic advisors
  • Former managers/bosses from any internships or part-time jobs you’ve held
Step 1: Tell People You’re Job Searching

This step is really important. Tell everyone!

If someone doesn’t know you’re job hunting, they can’t help.

Your network is the fastest way to get a job only if you talk to multiple people and get the word out!

You never know who in your network has connections to different companies and industries, so always casually mention that you’re job hunting any time you can fit it into a conversation.

After that, here’s what else you can do…

Step 2: Approach Specific People to Get Help Finding a Job

If you’re close to somebody (a sibling, best friend, parent, etc.), you can be very direct in asking for help.

But, the less closely you know someone, the less direct and “aggressive” you should be.

Don’t approach somebody you haven’t talked to in 2 years asking for direct help. It’s NOT a good look.

So what should you do?

Tell them you’re job searching and ask for advice, or ask a question. I’ve seen this work for cold-approaching strangers on LinkedIn too, at companies you want to work for.

Example first message:

“Hi John,

Quick question – I saw you used to work at Microsoft. Would you recommend their Marketing group? I recently graduated with my degree in Marketing, and Microsoft is one of the top firms on my list, but I always like to ask someone who has direct experience with a company what they thought of the environment.”

Now John would respond and give you his opinion.

And after this, you can let the conversation continue a bit, and then ask for help finding a job or getting an interview more directly.

For example, maybe John tells you the marketing group is great and would be great for a new graduate like yourself.

After a few back-and-forth messages, you could send this:

“Thanks for the reply, really appreciate it. I’m going to apply. I know a top company like Microsoft must receive a lot of applications online though, so I did think to ask before sending anything – do you happen to be in touch with any of the hiring managers or HR people over there still who you might be able to make a casual introduction to?”

Now you’re asking or hinting at the fact that you’d like an introduction if possible.

That’s how to let it flow naturally into a conversation with someone who you messaged out of the blue, or someone you already know but aren’t close with or haven’t talked to recently.

Step 3: Repeat the Process

Go through your network, making sure people know you’re job hunting.

Approach people to ask if they can connect you to certain companies. Try to do your research and have an idea which companies they’ve worked with, etc. Instead of just saying, “Can you help me get any job at all?”

That’s not nearly as good as saying, “I saw you worked at XYZ Company… I was wondering if…”

And just keep repeating. If your network is small and you run out of people, use the scripts I gave you above to cold-approach people on LinkedIn. Build your network further!

Will this get you hired every single time? No, I can’t promise that. But it’s where I’d start! It’s definitely the fastest way to get a job because of the 3 big reasons mentioned at the start of the article.

3 Rules to Follow when Networking to Find a Job:

1. In general, don’t come right out of the gate asking for a big favor to a stranger, or an acquaintance you don’t know very well.

This includes asking for an introduction right away, asking them to look at your resume/CV, or attaching your resume/CV into an email. Don’t do that!

2. Ask questions and make it a real conversation.

Don’t just seem like a “taker” who only wants to use them for something.

3. Show appreciation.

Thank them for any info/answers they give to your questions. Their time is valuable so show you appreciate it. They don’t owe you anything. Be appreciative.

The closer your relationship is with someone, the more you can break these rules…

If it’s a parent or family member, you can obviously just say, “Is there anyone at Microsoft you could get my resume in front of to land me an interview?”

Same goes for an academic adviser or former university professor. They should want to help you find a job.

But that’s not going to work with other people in your network. So use your best judgment.

If you follow these steps above and focus on this at the beginning of your job search, you’ll boost your chances of getting a job much faster, with less effort and less hassle.

Now, you might need to use other methods to find a job, too. But this is where you should start first to give yourself the best shot at getting a great job quickly.

The post The Fastest Way to Get a Job appeared first on Career Sidekick.

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Your social media accounts are snapshots of your life. Your photos, comments, and thoughts are stored in perpetuity once they are posted online, which can be great for a walk down memory lane but not so great when you are looking for a new job.

By now we’ve all heard the news: recruiters often actively seek out applicant’s social media accounts to learn more about who they are as people. In fact, a survey conducted by CareerBuilder found that up to 70 percent of employers delve into a candidate’s social media accounts during the recruitment process – and 24 percent of those that say they scope out applicant profiles admit that they do so to see if there is a reason why the candidate shouldn’t be hired.

Understanding that your social media account can either be a help or a hindrance is critical. To make sure that it isn’t a liability, learn to be savvy with managing your accounts. Here’s how:

Learn to use the privacy settings

Twitter, Facebook, and Snapchat may make you feel as if you are having a personal conversation with friends, but that is only true if you have learned to lock down your privacy settings to make that so.

While each site works slightly differently and offer different levels of privacy, here are the basics: having your profile set to “Public” means that anyone, with or with an account on that platform, can see your posts. A “Private” account typically means that only those people that you choose to connect with can see what you share. To learn the ins and outs of setting up your privacy controls on each platform, take a look at this handy guide.

Take an inventory

A great rule of thumb to live by is this: if you wouldn’t want your grandmother to see a photo or comment that you have posted online, take it down! Treat all of the information you post online as if it is public – if you wouldn’t want it displayed on the front page of your local newspaper, take it down.

You want your profile to appear professional – or, at least inoffensive. So, while it’s fine to leave your cute cat videos, you should take down your rants about politicians or your complaints about your boss. You should also consider keeping your professional and personal profiles separate. On your professional profile, you can share industry news and other PC information.

Google yourself

Once you have your accounts on lockdown, it’s wise to do an online search of your name to see what appears. Even when your profiles it set to private, it’s possible that some information will be visible. For example, if you have been tagged in friends’ photos online, those might appear in a search of your name.

Other things to look for include reviews you may have written on Yelp, comments you’ve made online in forums, and other information. Don’t just scour the first page of the search results either, especially if you have a common name. Take the time to scroll through several pages of search results and make a list of anything that you might need to go back and delete.

Build out a pleasing profile

If you know that you are going to begin a job search in six months, consider proactively building out your profile to make it pleasing to probing recruiters (and perhaps consider putting a resume builder to use, too). As mentioned about, one option is to create a designated professional profile. Another is to add great content to your existing social media sites.

Say you are applying for a job as a restaurant manager. You might consider setting up a Google alert to deliver articles on the food and beverage industry to your email. Then, share the most interesting articles to your social media sites. This way, when a recruiter peruses your pages, what they will see is a person who is invested in their industry and up on the latest news. It’s a quick and easy way to show hiring managers that you are serious about your profession.

Hopefully a lot of this information won’t be brand-new news to you. But it never, ever hurts to reiterate these crucial social media cleanup steps that must be undertaken when you’re ramping up to find a new job.

About this guest author:

Since 2005, LiveCareer has been developing tools that have helped over 10 million users build stronger resumes, write persuasive cover letters, and develop better interview skills. Land the job you want faster using our free resume examples and resume templates, writing guides, and easy-to-use resume builder.

The post 4 Tips to Prevent Social Media from Hindering Your Job Search appeared first on Career Sidekick.

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Video interviews usually take place after a phone screen but before an in-person one. In fact, it has become quite common to have two or more virtual interviews before you ever head on over to an office to meet someone face-to-face.

Below are 5 Video Interview Do’s and 3 Don’ts to help you nail it!

5 Do’s for Video Job Interviews #1 Manage your Time

Virtual interviews are usually shorter than in-person interviews — however, depending on the interviewer, can take as little as 15 minutes and as long as an hour. My recommendation? Ask how much time to allot and add 15 minutes to your schedule – just in case.

There are two types of video interviews — live interviews (using Skype, FaceTime, or LiveMessenger) and recorded Question-and-Answer interviews, also called “time-shifted” video interviews.

#2 Get Familiar with the Technology

Because every technology has its quirks, I recommend you familiarize yourself with the platform once you know its name. Specifically, know where the mute button is and how to turn up (and down) the volume. Make sure whichever device you will use (laptop, desktop, tablet or cell phone) is plugged in and/or fully charged.

Lighting is critical – avoid appearing like a dark shadow by placing a lamp or other light source in front, rather than behind, you.

Practice with someone you trust on the other end. Make sure you are comfortable looking at the webcam when speaking rather than at the interviewer’s face.

#3 Prepare the Setting

Print out a hard copy of your resume, along with the job posting or description. If you are conducting this from home where family members will be present, consider hanging a “do not disturb” sign or at least warning all to stay clear of you during the call!

Be sure to silence notifications on your devices your conversation does not get interrupted by beeps and pings.

If using a desktop monitor or laptop, I recommend propping it up so as not to be peering down, and practice sitting where your torso is centered in the webcam.

#4 Do Your Homework

Be prepared with a list of questions, along with talking points that speak to your accomplishments and any info you uncovered through company research.

#5 Choose Your Wardrobe Wisely

Dress from top to bottom as you would for an in-person interview. Sweatpants with a shirt and tie won’t cut it.

Even though it is likely the person at the other end will only see your top half, it’s better to prepare for the unexpected, and you may feel more prepared when you look the part.

Additionally, it’s wise to keep your clothing color choice in mind. I recommend avoiding white and black wardrobe choices as they don’t always look as great on camera (this is why news anchors tend to wear pastel or jewel tones!)

3 Don’ts for Video Interviews #1 Take Copious Notes

Instead, I recommend limiting note-taking if possible, and if you must take notes, do so with pen and paper rather than keyboard typing. The latter may make you come off as distracted.

#2 Talk Over the Interviewer

Remember to pause before answering questions. Time lags or buffering are sadly more common than you think and jumping too quickly to respond may appear as interrupting.

#3 Forget Your Calendar

It’s important to have it handy in case you’re asked to schedule a follow-up interview!

A Step Closer to the Next Round

It’s becoming more likely you’ll be asked to do a video interview in any job search, and if you’re looking for jobs in a new city, or interviewing for a remote position, you’re even more likely to come across a video job interview.

While practice and preparation may not lead to perfection, it can at least help you avoid an embarrassing interview mistakes. Succeed by following these tips for online video interviews and you are one step closer to the critical face-to-face interview!

About this guest author:

In need of some career advice, a refreshed resume or rebranded LinkedIn? As the founder and chief writer at Virginia Franco Resumes, I offer customized executive resume and LinkedIn profile writing services for the 21st century job seeker. I would be happy to chat!

The post 8 Video Job Interview Tips to Get You Hired appeared first on Career Sidekick.

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If you just graduated or are looking for a job after college, this article will show you the 3 best ways to get hired.

Then, at the end of the article I’ll share a few of my other best tips to help you land a great job, so keep reading to the bottom.

Let’s get started with the 3 best ways to find a job after college…

First Way to Find a Job After College: Your Network

Now you might not have a very big network, that’s okay. When I graduated I had done almost zero networking and felt totally unprepared to job search.

It’s still a valuable tool to use as much as you can.

Here’s why: You’re FAR more likely to receive a job interview if you get introduced to a company by someone they know and trust.

So think about who you can contact who might have connections with companies you’d like to work for.

Who You Can Ask for Help in Finding a Job:
  • Friends/classmates from school
  • Family members
  • Family members of good friends
  • Former college professors and academic advisors
  • Former managers/bosses from any internships or part-time jobs you’ve held
How to Ask These People for Help

Now, if you’re very close with somebody, you can contact them and immediately ask for help. “Hey, did you used to work for XYZ Company? I’m interested in finding an entry-level job there and was wondering if you still have any connections there?”

However, if you’re approaching somebody you aren’t very close with… such as a friend from university that you had a few classes with but have only known for one year, you want to be more casual.

Ask them a question like, “do you have any advice for trying to get my resume in front of companies like XYZ Company?”

If they can help, they often will, and this sounds a lot better than asking for a favor right away.

Try to help them too, if you can. Ask if they need any help finding jobs as well. This will make them want to help you more.

After an initial question, you can ask them more directly for help if they don’t realize what you’re asking for. But it’s better to start with a much “softer” question.

Other Networking Methods to Find a Job After College:

Beyond this, consider going to local meetups, networking events for the industry you want to work in, etc. You can also connect with people on LinkedIn, tell them you’re interested in their industry, and ask what it’s like to work in their company.

(Again, you’re starting with a “soft”, casual question).

Then once you’ve exchanged a few messages, they’re a lot more likely to introduce you to a hiring manager in the company if you ask!

Don’t just approach strangers asking for a big favor right away. You’ll get your message deleted and won’t hear back.

Second Method for Finding a Job After College: Apply Directly (to Growth-Stage Companies)

You could do this for any companies actually. Applying directly on company websites is a great method for finding a job after college.

But I prefer growth-stage companies in particular. Here’s why…

One of the most common complaints I hear from job seekers is that it’s *very* hard to find companies who want someone who is entry-level.

They tell me they’re frustrated because every job seems to require experience.

And the companies MOST likely to hire someone without experience are growth-stage companies, startups, etc.

They want talented people and are always looking to grow their team for the future.

And they’re often hiring MULTIPLE people, so you don’t even need to be the best person they interview. You just need to give good answers to their questions, not make any mistakes and you’re in!

This is how I landed my first job as a Recruiter actually. They were hiring 10 people at the time, for entry level spots. All due to growth!

How Can You Find Growth-Stage Companies?

This is the challenging part. There’s no magic recipe.

Search on LinkedIn, where you can filter by company size.

I’d also recommend checking out INC’s list of the 5,000 fastest growing US companies.

Then I like to search Google for terms like “New York startups list” (replace “New York” with your city or region).

To find relatively early-stage startups, check CrunchBase.com for companies that have received recent funding. They’re typically looking to hire more. If you want more stability, look for a company that’s raised at least a few rounds of funding previously (so, not just Series A or Series B), and tens or hundreds of millions of dollars in total.

Once you find these companies, apply directly on their website if possible. Use the best email address you can find (even if they don’t appear to be hiring, it’s okay!)

Write a great cover letter or email explaining why they caught your attention, how you believe your skills will help them, and why you’d be excited to have an opportunity to discuss this further in an interview.

Method #3: LinkedIn Job Search

The two methods are above are what I’d recommend for the best ways to find a job after college, or at least where you should start.

However, you might not have much of a network, or maybe you don’t want to work in a growth-stage company or startup.

So here’s another method you can try…

Apply to Companies Directly on LinkedIn

I find this to be MUCH better than job boards because you can often apply directly through LinkedIn’s website. Just attach your resume and hit “send” and you’re done.

Here’s a case study and video explaining how to apply to jobs as quickly as possible on LinkedIn.

This method lets you avoid having to create an account on multiple sites, and avoid having to fill in personal details over and over which is a huge waste of time.

“Everything Else”

If the 3 main methods above don’t work for you, then you may need to try a few methods that aren’t quite as good (but can still work).

This includes using job boards and career portals like Indeed, Monster, etc.

If you know what industry you want to work in, you can search for niche job boards as well. Here’s a list of the 45 best tech job boards, for example.

I’d recommend job boards as a last resort, or a small portion of your overall effort (10%, 20%, etc.)

But they CAN work. In fact I found a great job in the past on a Craigslist posting. So you never know where you’ll get a high quality job interview lined up.

To recap:
  1. Use your network whenever possible. Always try to get introduced to a company.
  2. Apply directly to companies on their website when you can, and look for growth-stage companies because they hire more entry-level people.
  3. Try applying on LinkedIn to avoid the hassle of having to register an account on multiple job sites or company “Career” pages.
  4. Then try other methods only if needed.
Other Resources to Help You Get Hired Faster:

I promised at the start of this article I’d give you a few other tips and resources that’ll help you land a great job, so here they are…

When you do get interviews lined up, use this job interview preparation checklist to walk in prepared.

Also, do NOT neglect to prepare questions to ask them. This is something most job seekers do not do a very good job of. So to help you, here’s a long list of great questions to ask the interviewer.

And as a final tip, if you’re talking to a recruiter, here are 5 questions I recommend asking them, based on my own experience as a recruiter for many years.

You’re Ready to Job Hunt

If you follow the steps and tips above, you will get more interviews, and succeed in those interviews so you can land a job in less time.

Remember, it only takes one job offer, so don’t get discouraged if you haven’t found a job as quickly as you had hoped. You’re one job interview away from getting hired, no matter what.

So keep going, and good luck!

The post How to Find a Job After College – 3 Best Ways appeared first on Career Sidekick.

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In this article I’m going to walk you through the best ways to find jobs quickly and easily, without wasting time or having to submit tons of applications on job boards without hearing back.

We’ll look at the 3 best ways to find jobs online and offline, and then I’m going to give you a few extra tips to help make your job search easier.

So if you can’t find a job, or are just starting a job search and want to get hired quickly, you’re in the right place.

Let’s get started.

Method #1: Using Your Network to Find a Job

I’ll start by saying I know not everyone has a strong network they can rely on. It’s okay. But whoever you do know, you should talk to and utilize. And you should make new connections/relationships to make your job search easier as well.

Rule 1: Tell EVERYONE

The first rule of job search networking: Tell people you’re job hunting. Nobody can help you if you don’t tell people.

I once landed an interview at a top tech company in Boston by telling my haircutter I was job hunting.

What happened? Earlier in the week, a hiring manager had come in and dropped off his business card in case the haircutter finds any recent graduates who are job hunting. I mentioned it, he gave me the card, and the rest is history.

Rule 2: Always Try to Get Introduced to a Company

Also, think of anyone in your existing network (former coworkers, classmates, friends and family, etc.) who work at companies or have connections to companies you might want to work at.

Approach them and ask if they know if the company is hiring. Explain why you thought the company would be a good fit and see if they have any ideas how you might be able to get in contact with them.

It’s best to ask casually like this, rather than directly asking for a big favor upfront… unless you’re very close with the person you’re talking to (like a sibling, best friend, parent, etc.)

Why It’s Always Better to Get Introduced

Any time you can get introduced directly to a company or hiring manager, you will have a much higher chance of getting the interview. You might even skip the conversation with a recruiter or HR and go right in to meet the hiring manager.

So always get introduced to a company if you can. This is faster and FAR more effective than applying online, or other “cold” approach methods.

That’s why networking will always be one of the best ways to find jobs, and the first methods you should go to.

Method #2: Apply Directly to Targeted Companies

You should spend a good portion of your time finding companies that fit what you want to be doing in your career, and apply directly via email or via their “Careers” page.

This includes companies that are hiring, but also companies who are not hiring.

Your odds of hearing back from a company that doesn’t appear to be hiring are lower, but you’ll have virtually no competition if they do reply and show interest in your background.

So aim for a mix, maybe 70% companies who are hiring, and 30% companies who don’t appear to be hiring or don’t have a job that fits your background listed on their site.

Reasons Companies Might Interview You Even if a Job Wasn’t Posted
  • They were planning on posting a relevant job soon, and you caught them at the right time (you’d be amazed how much luck goes into a job search. This can absolutely happen)
  • They’re growing fast and want talented people in general. Many growth-stage companies are always looking for ambitious talent, and if you go out of your way to email them even when they don’t have a job posted, you’ll definitely get their attention!
What to Put in Your Email/Application

However you choose to apply to these companies, make sure to explain why they caught your eye in your cover letter or email.

Saying “I need a job” isn’t good enough. You need to show a company why you want THEIR job. So you need to show:

  1. You’ve done your research and know something about them
  2. You know what you’re looking to do next in your career, and their company seems to fit that

So make sure those two points are in your cover letters or emails when you send your resume.

Pro tip: This is VERY important when preparing for job interviews too. Always be able to explain what you’re looking for and why you applied for their job. If not, you probably won’t get hired.

Also make sure to “tailor” your resume for each job. This will multiply the odds that you hear back, usually by 3-5x.

If you follow these steps, do your research and don’t rush, this method is one of the best ways to find a job online.

Method #3: “Rapid-Fire” LinkedIn Job Search Method

While method #2 above requires careful research, and selectively picking companies to apply to, this method works by ramping up the number of applications you send out.

This is one of my personal favorites and has been working very well for job seekers for the past two years. It remains one of the best ways to find jobs online, even if you don’t have any network to rely on.

The main goal with this method: Get your resume in front of a lot of companies so you can start having conversations FAST.

And the best place to do that is LinkedIn.

To see the how, go read this case study. Or here’s the original video that started this whole method (it’s been viewed by over 125,000 people now):

How to Use LinkedIn to Find a Job Fast (Easiest Method!) - YouTube

The general idea: You use LinkedIn to search for jobs by keyword, location, etc.

And then you apply directly via LinkedIn, which eliminates the need for a cover letter, and saves you TONS of time because you don’t need to create an login/password for different job portals, or fill out personal details like name and address, etc.

You simply find jobs that might interest you, attach your resume and click “send”. You can do a very high volume of applications this way, and get job interviews scheduled relatively quickly.

Don’t only use this. But it’s one of the best ways to find jobs and get in front of more companies. And it can definitely get you hired.

Those Are The Best Ways to Find Jobs, But What Order Should You Use Them?

If I were starting a job search today I’d aim for a 33% split between all methods, unless I had a very strong network. In that case, I’d rely on my network almost entirely at the beginning.

I recommend you start by going through your network, writing down a list of who you know, and contacting them.

I’d then spend at least half a day using Method #3 above. Try to apply to 25-35 companies in half a day).

After this, spend a few days on Method #2, targeting specific companies you’d like to work for.

Going forward, keep splitting your time between methods 2 and 3, and remember to use your network whenever possible. A referral is almost always the best way to contact a company.

A Couple More Hints for Finding a Job

Now, I promised I’d shared a few tips that’d help you in finding a job, so here a few resources from our website that’ll help you further.

First… when you get interviews lined up, you should review and practice answering the common questions here. That link has a list of 128 questions you can expect to hear.

Do *not* go in unprepared and waste all the hard work you put into applying for jobs. You want to get a job offer from every interview you can!

Next, I’d recommend making sure you’re timing your job search correctly, so here are the two best and worst times to look for jobs.

Now, you can’t always control when you need to job hunt. But it’s helpful to know whether you’re in a fast or slow time of year so you can adjust your strategy.

And finally- remember, you only need one job offer. You’re one interview away, so don’t get discouraged.

Always remember that, and good luck!

The post The 3 Best Ways to Find Jobs Online and Offline in 2018 appeared first on Career Sidekick.

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Artificial intelligence is already making its mark on many industries.

Computer algorithms can sort through and make sense of more data in a day than a human could in a lifetime, and it’s impacting how we look at information related to healthcare, sports, advertising and more.

But what about resume writing and job searching?

I set out to take a look at how artificial intelligence (AI) could improve resume writing for job seekers.

Before we get started, here’s a brief definition of AI:

“Computer systems able to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and translation.”

Artificial Intelligence and Resume Writing

Artificial intelligence has the potential to change resume writing for the better.

Let’s look at some of the ways this could happen.

1. Reducing the time it takes to write your resume

AI could potentially look at your LinkedIn, past job descriptions of roles you’ve held, or other data you provide, and come up with it thinks are the most relevant or important facts to put on your resume.

Then your task as a job seeker would simply be to edit and adjust, rather than writing from scratch.

Over time, an AI program could become better and better at making these recommendations, by “studying” which things people choose to use on their resume and which facts or data people tend to remove during edits, after the program suggests them.

This is known as “machine learning”.

So it could improve over time and become quite good at guessing what you will want to put on your resume based on your background.

2. Making recommendations based on trends and industry norms

Along with looking at pieces of your own background and prior jobs, AI resume software could make recommendations based on general trends and industry patterns.

It could study a wide range of resumes across your industry, see the common themes, and then tell you what you’re missing section-by-section, from your resume summary and intro, to your skills and qualifications.

For example you might receive a warning like: “Note: 77% of applicants in your industry mention at least one sales metric when listing their prior job duties with this job title. We recommend adding one.”

3. Guide you through the process

I just finished doing my taxes, and I used an online software program.

And while pretty basic, this software essentially “walks” you through the whole process by asking you questions about your year.

A free resume builder that utilizes AI could do something similar, and turn writing a resume into a process of simply answering questions and filling in the pieces, rather than staring at a blank page and trying to write everything at once (challenging and difficult, right?)

4. Notice errors and irregularities

It’s important to fact-check your own resume before applying for jobs. If you say one thing on your resume, and something else in an interview answer, it is NOT going to look good.

If you say something that’s inaccurate and have to backtrack in the interview, that’s not good either and could stop you from getting hired.

So another way artificial intelligence could improve resume writing is by pointing out potential errors and facts that could be incorrect.

This again, is similar to the online tax software that so many people use. Right before you submit your tax return, it runs through some basic checks and tells you if something doesn’t seem right.

For example, if you list two numbers, and one should always be higher than the other (for example, your total income, vs. your income just from investments).

And for some reason… if you typed in that your investment income was higher than your total income for the year… the software would tell you this cannot be correct.

On your resume, it might not be so obvious, but the AI could at least say: “Warning: this number seems unusual for your industry. Please double-check that this is what you meant to put”.

5. Add keywords

You’ve probably heard you should put keywords on your resume, especially with more and more companies using applicant tracking systems before a real person reads the resume.

Resume AI could recommend keywords based on what other job seekers have used, what job descriptions in your industry mention, or based on a specific job description you “give” it.

That last idea seems the simplest and most powerful, at least early on…

Imagine, you know what job you want to apply for. You download the job description into a text doc, and then upload it into an AI resume builder.

It scans through the document and determines which keywords are most important to use in your resume.

Useful, right? It would save you time and help you get past online job application systems.

6. Translate into multiple languages

If you read the definition of AI at the start of this article, you saw the word “translation” mentioned.

Now, a word-for-word translation isn’t good enough for your resume.

And if you’ve ever tried to use Google Translate between two different languages, you’ll see it’s far from perfect.

However as this technology improves, you could potentially write your resume in one language, and have it automatically translated into others. This would be useful for anyone job searching internationally.

Artificial Intelligence Could Level the Playing Field for Job Seekers

Companies have already begun using computer programs in their hiring. Applicant tracking systems and resume screening algorithms that check for keyword before a human even looks are examples of this.

As artificial intelligence becomes more available in software for job seekers- such as resume and cover letter builders, it could level the playing field and help you get more interviews and get hired faster.

It could also help in other areas such as salary negotiation. The more data you have, the faster and easier it will be to find a high quality, high paying job.

The post How Artificial Intelligence Could Change Resume Writing appeared first on Career Sidekick.

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Panel interviews can be stressful and intimidating, but in a lot of ways, they’re similar to any other face-to-face job interview. And the answers you give will be similar as well, with a few adjustments.

In this article, I’ll cover what to expect in your panel interview, and the common questions and answers to know!

Common Panel Interview Questions and Answers:

First, what is a panel interview? It’s an in-person interview where you sit in a room with multiple people from the company at the same time, instead of meeting with each person one-on-one.

Since it’s a face-to-face interview, and it requires the company to get the whole team together, it usually will come after a phone interview (so they can make sure they’re interested in you before spending the time in a panel interview).

So the good news is that if you’re on a panel interview, they’re probably interested in your background and really thinking of hiring you. So that’s one reason to be confident!

Panel Interview Questions to Expect (and Answers)

In a panel interview, they’re going to ask similar questions that they would in any interview. And your strategy to give great answers should be similar.

This includes:

  • Do your research and know about their business. Who are their customers? How do they make money? What is their history?
  • Research the job description. What are the requirements? What skills do they want? Those are the things you need to show them in the interview. Focus your answers on THEIR needs.
  • Be familiar with your own background and work history. Prepare stories and examples. Be ready to talk about your own resume and summary of your accomplishments.
  • Be specific – use facts, numbers and examples whenever an answer calls for it. That’s a great way to make your answers stand out in any interview and one of my top interview success tips.
These are sample questions they’re likely to ask you in a panel interview (that you’ll need great answers for): Now, those are just a few questions. There are over 100 more questions they could ask.

So, you’re better off preparing for topics, not individual questions. I talk about this strategy in my job interview answer guide because it’s one of the best ways to prepare for any interview.

What do I mean by “topics?”

Be ready to explain why you’re job searching. That’s one general topic. What you’re looking for, what types of positions you’re targeting, etc. And why their job interested you based on what you’re looking for.

Here’s another idea for a topic to prepare for: Review your past accomplishments and come up with a few stories/examples of what you’ve done and what you’re great at. That will help you answer a TON of questions… like:

Here’s another idea: Think about your communication skills and teamwork skills. Come up with one or two examples of how you worked as a part of team, how you interacted with your boss in the past to make sure your last job was a success, etc.

Think about weaknesses too, and things you’re working to improve (and how). That way you’ll be ready for questions like:

Another topic: Think about what motivates you (besides money). Employers want to see that you’re resilient and will overcome obstacles and stay motivated even if things get tough. So you need to show them this.

This is a lot faster and easier than preparing for each question individually…

And even if you do prepare for 100+ questions, they might ask something different than what you expected.

So if you want to give great answers in your panel interview, prepare for general topics that you think they’ll ask about.

You can get more clues about topics to prepare for by studying the job description. What do they mention most or seem to care about? Communication skills? Leadership? Problem-solving? etc.

That’s what to practice great answers for.

Other Tips for Panel Interview Success:

Final words of advice and tips for your panel interview…

  1. Show up 10 minutes early. If you’re late you will not get hired.
  2. Learn everyone’s names and use them in the conversation.
  3. Prepare great questions to ask them. You can direct questions to an individual, or the panel in general.
  4. Make eye contact with everyone when giving an answer to a question, but focus slightly more on the person whose question you are answering.

If you want more tips, hints and help with your panel interview, I wrote one more article with further details on how to ace your panel interview.

Good luck!

The post Common Panel Interview Questions and Answers appeared first on Career Sidekick.

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I’ve been fortunate to interview many successful career professionals throughout my career, and have had the opportunity to pick their brains about what worked (and what didn’t!) during their job searches.

Common themes have emerged. Here’s a list of 4 things most would do differently if turning back time was an option. These tips will help you conduct a successful job search online and offline to get hired faster.

How to Conduct a Successful Job Search: 1. Figure Out What Roles You Want to Target

Most people don’t want to pigeon-hole themselves during a job search. This is especially true for people whose skills are wide-ranging or diverse.

Unfortunately, when your resume and LinkedIn position you as a jack-of-all-trades, no one will be able to figure out where to place you, and you will likely be passed up for a peer who positions themselves as an expert.

The truth is that hiring managers THINK they want a specialist, but once hired they appreciate a candidate’s versatility. Until you get hired, however, it is best to ensure that your resume positions you as an expert or specialist in a specific industry or role.

2. Look Great Online

Recruiters and hiring managers are online, and will scour social media to look for people and to vet them. So looking great online is an important key to conducting a successful job search in today’s market.

According to a 2017 Career Builder study, 70% of employers use social media to screen candidates. Perhaps of greater interest, a 2017 SHRM study revealed that 85% of organizations recruit via social media.

Control what they see by keeping the social networks you don’t want people to see private, and by putting your best foot forward on sites where you’d like them to find you.

I recommend having a strong LinkedIn presence that includes a complete profile, a great headshot, a headline that tells readers the kinds of roles for which you are ideally suited, and a summary section that says why you should be hired.

If you have the time (and I recommend finding the time), share and comment on articles that align with your career aspirations a few times a week – even when you are not job searching.

This will keep your profile top of mind when opportunities arise, and position you as an expert in your field of interest.

3. Remain in Perpetual Networking Mode

While your job search is something you will (hopefully!) have to tackle only a few times in your life, networking is forever.

Given that most jobs are filled via referral, it is much less painful to reach out for help from a friend/colleague when you speak to them semi-regularly than if you wait until you are desperate and reach out after many years of radio silence.

The person you meet (and keep in touch with) now may be the same person you will work with (or wish to work with) down the road. He/she might be a potential business partner, colleague or manager.

Remember that networking is a two-way street. Your approach can vary – from checking in every few months via text, email or even a good-old-fashioned call (it’s OK to leave a voicemail!), or scheduling 2 coffee chats per month with different people.

4. Avoid the ATS Black Hole

Piggy-backing onto my earlier point, most jobs get filled by referral. This means most roles posted online already have someone in mind once they’ve been published. The why’s behind this make sense if you think about it.

As a hiring manager, what would be the first thing you’d do if you had an opening? Would it be to create a job description and work to get it published? Or would you instead ask yourself and others who might be a perfect candidate for the role? The bottom line is it’s human nature to try and fill roles through people we trust.

While job postings are great to get a sense for which companies have budgets, and which skills are critical to possess and include in your resume and LinkedIn profile, most job seekers I know wish they had spent less time on applying online on job boards, and more time connecting with real human beings.

Hindsight is 20/20

Take it from those that wished they’d done things differently, and spun their wheels ineffectively when in job hunt mode. By spending time wisely and keeping your network and social media presence alive, you will see a far greater job search ROI.

About this guest author:

In need of some career advice, a refreshed resume or rebranded LinkedIn? As the founder and chief writer at Virginia Franco Resumes, I offer customized executive resume and LinkedIn profile writing services for the 21st century job seeker. I would be happy to chat!

The post How to Conduct a Successful Job Search – 4 Things Top Job Seekers Do Differently appeared first on Career Sidekick.

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Once you’ve applied to a job post, you may be invited to do a phone interview. This is an indication that the recruiter has reviewed your resume and found that you have the basic skills and experience required for the role. The goal of the phone interview – or phone screen – is to weed out the most desirable candidates from a larger pool of candidates who, at least on paper, appear to be qualified.

Phone screens typically last between 15 and 30 minutes, during which a hiring manager will ask you a series of questions about your background. It is also an opportunity for them to evaluate your communication skills, get a sense of your personality, and determine whether you’d be a good cultural fit for the organization.

To help you prepare for your next phone screen, we’ve compiled some commonly asked questions, as well as do’s and don’ts. Study up and make a great impression next time you take a call from a recruiter.

Phone Interview Do’s, Don’ts, and Common Questions: When should I schedule a phone screen?

While those job seekers who are eager to find a new job might be tempted to schedule a phone screen during the work day, try to avoid this if possible. Many recruiters will make arrangements to speak to you either before or after business hours, and you’ll be more relaxed if you aren’t worried about getting back to work on time.

Allow yourself twice as much time as you think you’ll need for a phone screen. This will allow you to be organized and ready a few minutes early and will provide a buffer on the back end in case the recruiter calls you a few minutes late.

What questions will I be asked during my phone interview?

Without a crystal ball, this one is a bit hard to answer but, below, we have compiled a list of questions you could be asked during your call. Here is a pro tip: write out your responses to each of the following questions. The best part of a phone screen is that you can have a cheat sheet with you during the call, which can help you get your key points across to the recruiter.

Questions during phone screens typically fall into two categories: questions about you and your experience and questions about what you are seeking in your next role. Here are some sample questions:

Potential questions about you:

  • Tell me more about your current role
  • Why are you looking to leave your current job?
  • What do you see as your greatest strength/ weakness?
  • Tell me about a major challenge you’ve faced and how you handled it?
  • What kind of manager best motivates you?
  • How would your coworkers describe you?
  • What was your starting salary in your current role? What are you earning now?

(Note: In some cities and states, employers are banned from asking about current and past compensation. Click here to find out if you live in one of these cities or states.)

Potential questions about the company and the role:

  • How much do you know about our company?
  • What interests you about this role and why do you think you’d be a good fit?
  • Why do you want to work here?
  • What do you hope to gain from your next position?
  • What can you contribute to this company?
  • Are you willing to travel for work?
  • What are your salary expectations? (Even in states and cities that have banned questions about salary, questions about salary expectations are allowed.)

If you can’t answer these questions, your interview is more likely to go poorly. So make sure to be ready.

What research should I do before my phone interview?

Do your homework by thoroughly researching the company and the interviewer. Knowing the basics about the company and recruiter is critical.

Go to the company’s website and read the About page for an overview. Next, read recent news articles written about the company. Add your findings to your cheat sheet. Next, look up the recruiter on LinkedIn. Look for commonalities; perhaps you share an alma mater, or maybe you have common connections. These facts are nice to have in your back pocket as conversation starters during the call.

Where should I take the call?

Find a quiet room in your house; you’ll be most comfortable at home and will have the most control over the environment. Ideally, do your call when pets and children are out of the house. A child asking for a juice box mid-call can make you lose your train of thought. Consider whether you’d be most comfortable in a chair or if pacing helps you to gather your thoughts and plan your location accordingly.

What will I need during the call?

Print out your résumé and cheat sheet and mark the important skills you want to highlight during the conversation (and consider fine-tuning the doc with a resume builder to make sure it’s in tip-top shape). Keep a pad and pen handy for taking notes. Pour yourself a glass of water and have it nearby, just in case. Make sure your cell phone is fully charged and turn off any sounds or alerts that could distract you.

Prepare your own questions

The quality of your questions can show a recruiter your level of interest. Formulate questions from the research you’ve done on the company and from information in the job description. Ask questions about the role, the team you’ll be working with, and about company culture. Don’t ask about compensation at this stage of the interview process. If the recruiter doesn’t offer the information, save those inquiries for the next round of interviews.

Ask about next steps

When the screen is winding down, ask about next steps. A recruiter should be able to give you a timeline for when you can expect to hear back about in-person interviews or when they hope to hire for the role.

Follow up

Send a hand-written thank-you note, if possible, though a well-crafted email will suffice. You should mail or email within one day of your interview, but not immediately after the call. Keep it short but sweet. Express your interest in the company, your ability to do the job, and emphasize your desire to take the next step in the interview process.

About this guest author:

Since 2005, LiveCareer’s team of career coaches, certified resume writers, and savvy technologists have been developing career tools that have helped over 10 million users build stronger resumes, write persuasive cover letters, and develop better interview skills. Land the job you want faster using our free resume examples and resume templates, writing guides, and easy-to-use resume builder.

The post Phone Interview Do’s and Don’ts for 2018 appeared first on Career Sidekick.

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After working as a recruiter for most of my career, I’m going to share the top 10 tips for interview success that I picked up over the years. If I could only recommend 10 things to focus on before your interview, this would be it.

These are the interview success tips that will have the BIGGEST impact on your results. Let’s jump into the list and get started…

10 Top Interview Success Tips: 1. Research the company

Interviewers can tell when you’ve done your research, and they love seeing it.

And if you haven’t… it looks really bad, especially at the start of the interview when they ask things like:

The start of the interview is your chance to make a great first impression. Walking in with zero knowledge of their business is one of the fastest ways to shoot yourself in the foot and NOT get hired.

2. Talk about specific accomplishments

Most people go into their interview and make general statements and talk in very general terms. To set yourself apart, you want to prepare specific examples and talk about DETAILS. Facts, numbers and real accomplishments.

Hint: this is true on your resume also. You’ll get far more interviews if you cram your resume with facts, figures and statistics instead of general statements like “responsible for handling customer requests”.

So when the hiring manager asks what you accomplished in your last job, or what you do each day, you should be ready to impress! This is not the time to hesitate or be unsure. Prepare ahead of time for this.

If you’re looking for your first job without any work experience, then think about accomplishments in your academic career – classes you’ve taken, projects you’ve completed, etc. That’s your most relevant experience!

3. Know what you want and what you’re looking for

If you seem like you are desperate or willing to take any job, you won’t get any good job offers.

You need to seem like you’re looking for the right fit, not the first job offer you can get. 

This is a key part of interview success, and one of the most important tips I can give you.

So, how do you do this? You walk in knowing specific things about the company and the job (study the job description), and be able to explain how it fits what you’re looking for in your current job search.

Then the interview becomes about discussing whether the job is a good match for what you’re looking for. That’s the general idea. Most job seekers don’t realize this though, and go in thinking it’s an interrogation or a series of questions they need to “pass” or answer “correctly”.

4. Be human

You don’t need to seem perfect in the interview to get hired. Don’t try. Be human.

If you seem fake, or if you try too hard to give “perfect” answers, the hiring manager might not be able to get a real sense of what your strengths and weaknesses are. And if they can’t tell, they won’t hire you.

So, don’t go in with interview answers you read from the top of Google. If you found those in 5 minutes, everyone else did too. Come up with great answers that are unique.

Remember that it’s also okay to occasionally say, “I’m not sure”, or “Sorry, I’m drawing a total blank”. (This is okay once or twice per interview. If you find yourself doing it more, it’s a sign you didn’t prepare enough).

5. Ask great questions

Employers judge you heavily based on the questions you ask.

Running out of questions before you’ve met everyone, or saying, “I don’t have any questions,” can cost you the job. Asking “bad” questions can cost you the job too.

If you aren’t sure what to ask, I wrote an article with the best questions.

This is often the difference between interview success and failure, so don’t neglect this part of preparing for your interview.

6. Learn the interviewer’s name and use it

I’m horrible at remembering names. I always have been. So if I can do this, you can too…

When you hear someone’s name, repeat it to yourself in your head once or twice IMMEDIATELY after you shake hands. This helps you remember it.

Most of the time, if you forget someone’s name, it’s because you never really “got” it. Immediately after you heard it, you forgot. So this is how to remember.

Then, use it in the conversation within the first 5-10 minutes of the interview. Now you’ll never forget it.

There’s another benefit to this too – using someone’s name helps you build a bond with them and build trust. Studies have shown you seem more confident, competent and impressive when you say someone’s name when talking to them.

Go talk to the CEO in your company, and I bet they’ll use your name in the conversation. Leaders do this. Successful people do this.

This is a very under-rated tip for interview success that anyone can do. It just takes effort.

You will build a stronger bond/rapport with the interviewer if you do this, and they’ll be more likely to remember you favorably and hire you.

7. Be upfront and use clear language

Don’t use vague language and “dodge” their questions. And don’t lie. They’ll usually know. Hiring managers interview a lot of people and have a great sense for this.

If you lie and get caught, there is no way they’re going to hire you.

And if you seem like you’re trying to hide information, they won’t trust you and won’t hire you either.

Hiring managers aren’t just evaluating your skill; they’re evaluating your character. If you’re going to be joining their team, they need to see what type of person you are. And no hiring manager wants someone who is dishonest on their team.

What do they want? Someone who stands up and takes responsibility when things go wrong, who can learn from past mistakes, who is honest if there’s a problem, and who isn’t afraid to tell the truth.

The interview is where they test this before hiring you. So just remember that while they’re judging your experience and skills, they’re also judging these character traits.

8. Never badmouth

Don’t badmouth former bosses, former employers, coworkers or anyone else.

Here’s what happens when you do: The interviewer will immediately become curious about the other side of the story. They’ll wonder if you were part of the problem (or the whole problem).

They’ll wonder if you’re someone who always looks to blame others. They’ll worry you have a bad attitude and won’t be able to fit into their organization. And they won’t hire you because of this.

So never, ever badmouth anyone from your past in your interview. Also, you never know if the interviewer knows somebody who you’re bad mouthing! Many industries have pretty tight-knit communities.

9. Make everything about THEM

Here’s a little secret: The interview isn’t really about you.

If you want to start getting a TON of job offers from your interviews, you need to start thinking about what the company wants. Make yourself seem like a solution to their problems.

How can you help them make money, save money, save time, etc.?

How will you make the hiring manager’s life easier if he or she hires you?

Figure out how to show this, start thinking about their needs and answering their questions with this mindset and you will be in the top 10% of job seekers.

Same goes for writing your resume. You want to stand out? Start thinking of your resume as being about THEM. It’s a document that should be “tailored” to the employer’s needs, showing them how your qualifications and past work will help you step into *their* job and be successful in their organization.

That’s the general idea, and it’s true for resumes, cover letters, and interviews.

10. Send great follow-ups

When your interview is wrapping up, ask each person you met for a business card. This will help you follow-up and boost your chances of getting hired.

Then, here’s what to do next…

One day after your interview, send “thank you” emails to each person you met, mentioning something specific you discussed with them and thanking them for their time. (You mention something specific so they know it’s not a cut & paste email).

If you want a word-for-word template you can use, read this article.

Also, at the end of your interview, ask the company when you can expect to hear feedback.

Then… let’s say they told you it would take five business days. On the sixth business day, if you haven’t heard anything, you’ll want to send an email to follow up and check for feedback.

Doing this will maximize the chance you get the job offer.

The post Top 10 Tips for Interview Success (From a Recruiter) appeared first on Career Sidekick.

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