Sarah@FreeMyCV Blog

How Social Media can Help Your Job Hunt

by Sarah 12. January 2012 13:46
Social media has become an important part of everyday life. Whether you share videos on YouTube, visit Facebook, or incessantly tweet; the consumption of social media will play a significant part in your daily activities. 

Social media has evolved and is now very much a tool that can be harnessed to help you with your job hunt. Employers are changing the way they recruit and take into consideration the trends surrounding social media. It is now more than likely that businesses will have presence on at least one of the main social media channels; so how does that help you? Have a look at our advice on how getting social may help you land your next job...

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a professional networking site that is actively used by employers to recruit candidates. Your profile on LinkedIn is effectively like a virtual CV; it enables you to document your work and educational history, write a bio about yourself and connect with other professionals via the network. 

You can 'follow' employers who have created business profiles and be notified when there has been actiivity in the company including new hires, new vacancies and much more. All of this information will be available to view in your news stream. 

By connecting with a company you are able to gain an impression of the kind of people that they employ. Knowing the background of the people who are being hired gives you a clear insight into the skills and experience that are valued in their recruitment process. 

Twitter

Twitter is an extremely valuable tool for job seeking and there are a number of ways you can use the site to your advantage. Employers often have more than one Twitter feed for their business and often have a dedicated Twitter handle for their jobs, so make sure you are following the right account. You can use the search feature of Twitter to search for companies. 

Another great way to use Twitter, almost like a search engine, is to search via hashtags. If you do this, you will see all of the tweets from everyone who has used that hashtag, so a handy starting point would be to look at the hashtag #UKJobs. This will give you a good idea about who is out there recruiting and might give you some companies or websites you weren't familiar with before.

The other excellent thing about Twitter is that you do not have to do all the legwork. Recruiters often use software that scans for keywords on Twitter, to help compile a list of candidates that they may want to approach about a job. Often this software will look at the content of your Twitter bio and your tweets and match it to certain keywords. Use this knowledge and ensure your bio comprehensively states you are looking for work, and ensure you have mentioned the particular field you wish to gain employment in. You do not have to tweet about jobs all the time, but a few times a day will ensure that you are picked up by employers who are looking at Twitter for leads on candidates. 

Facebook

Facebook may not strike you as a conventional tool for job seeking. The site is predominantly one that you would associate with your personal, rather than your professional life. However it is surprising how many employers use Facebook as part of their recruitment process. 

Facebook allows companies to create business pages which you can become a 'fan' of, rather than the normal 'friend' option. This will keep you informed of any updates made to the page via your news feed. Many businesses will use Facebook to post jobs and other key information about their company and it is a useful way to gain an insight into the places you would like to work. 

Branch Out is a service that helps you to connect with employers through Facebook more easily. The third party application can provide a great way of expanding your professional network to include all of your contacts on Facebook. For more information on their service, visit Branchout.com.

Ensure your privacy settings on Facebook are well managed to allow your private and work life to remain, to a degree, separated. Remember also that along with company pages, your network of friends can be a powerful way of learning about new opportunities. People you are connected with may post details about jobs in their own companies which could prove to be advantageous.

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Graduates | Redundancy

5 New Year Job Seeking Resolutions to Stick To

by Sarah 6. January 2012 08:42

Happy New Year to you all! Have you made your job seeking resolutions yet? Read our top tips on how 2012 is the year to...


1. Be Proactive.


January can be a tough month, Christmas is over, the festivities come to a halt and sometimes it can feel like all you’re left with is cold turkey, that new pair of socks and some really chilly weather to feel miserable about. Don't get the January blues, get organised and be proactive- 2012 is the year you find your perfect job. Make lists and work out your goals. If you are not currently working, make sure you devote a good portion of each day to your job hunt; especially if it has been on the back-burner during the festive season.


2. Overhaul your CV.


A lot of people use the new year as a reason to get fit, active and lose the weight they might have piled on at Christmas; but why not trim the fat from your CV? Give it a much needed overhaul- check that it all of the information is still relevant, from your contact details to your personal statement. Is there anything you can add? Is there anything that really doesn't need to be there? CVs should be professional, focused and clear so that a potential employer can see that you stand out. Ask someone to help you; sometimes a fresh pair of eyes can give you some objective opinions which may move your CV from pile 'C' to pile 'A'.


3.  Go Mobile.


If you're one of the lucky people who got a new phone for Christmas, why not put it to some good use by downloading some job seeking applications, or use your mobile to find jobs on the web. Just search on the app market for the keyword 'jobs' or 'job search' and you will be amazed at what you'll find. 2012 is the year that companies are getting mobile, so mobile sites will become more popular than ever. Mobile sites create a better browsing experience for you when you're on the move, so you don't have to put off the job search when you're out and about.


4. Find a New Path


A new year, a new start, and what better time to review your career options? You may be looking for jobs, but are you on the right track? Is there something you've always wanted to do but something has always held you back? Are you happy with the career you will have from the kind of jobs you are looking for? Keep your options open but remember to be realistic too. You might find a career you didn't even know you were looking for if you broaden your horizons and ask yourself what you really want to do.


5. Network through Social Media


A study in America has revealed that 54% of job seekers use Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to find jobs, and a staggering 18,400,000 claim Facebook got them their current job. The statistics were also pretty high for Twitter (8,000,000) and LinkedIn (10,200,000). This trend towards social job seeking has made its way to the UK too. Companies are actively looking to recruit candidates using social media, and sites such as LinkedIn provide an excellent way to network with potential employers and to create a professional profile that can be used to help you in your job hunt. 2012 is certainly the year to get social; it may just help you find your next job.


 


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Christmas Party Etiquette

by Sarah 23. December 2011 05:34

It's that time of year again where office parties loom on the horizon. An event to look forward to and dread in equal measure, with colleague faux pas certain to be on the increase with alcohol added into the mix. Read our top tips on how to survive this festive season without getting your worst present yet; your p45.

 

Be in it to Win it.

 

The idea of spending an evening with your boss and your colleagues might seem like your worst nightmare, but it is always worth making the effort to attend. Your Christmas party might turn out to be the perfect opportunity to make new office allies, strengthen existing relationships and may even help patch up old war wounds between you and the one who always manages to wind you up in the office. If the event in question is really not your thing, find a reason not to stay too long and bow out early; your colleagues will appreciate the effort and you'll be seen as a team player.

 

Loosen up but don't Lose Control.

 

It is highly likely that you will be in the company of alcohol at your office party. Even more temptingly, it could be free flowing and free of cost. There's no harm in a little bit of indulgence but the key thing to remember is to avoid getting really drunk. Become too intoxicated and you run the risk of embarrassing yourself and behaving inappropriately; not something to do in front of your boss. Make Monday morning bearable, stay merry and know your limits.

 

Dress Appropriately.

 

Avoid unwanted attention at your work do by keeping exposed flesh to a minimum. Men: don't unbutton your shirts too far, while women should stay away from short skirts and low cut tops. Dress comfortably and appropriately for the occasion.

 

Avoid those Cringe-worthy Colleague Kisses.

 

Alcohol + Work Colleagues = the potential for alcohol-fuelled office flings ; this is certain to be a bad idea. Avoid making a move on a colleague, you may end up damaging office relationships and making your working life less enjoyable as a result.

 

Know the Social/Work Balance

 

It is important to remember the company you are keeping; no matter how friendly the banter and how relaxed you feel, these are your work colleagues and there are boundaries. Don't bitch about colleagues or other members of the business and avoid making controversial statements. Remember to conduct yourself in a way that would befit the office, rather than with the lads down the pub.

Most importantly, make sure to Enjoy Yourself. You deserve it after this year's hard work!

 

 

Image: Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Redundancy

Making the most of Mobile in your Job Search

by Sarah 12. December 2011 16:24

Job seeking has gone mobile. I'm sure most people must have that memo by now, but what does it mean for job seekers and how can you use mobile job search apps to your advantage? Here are some of the basics to keep you at the top of your game:

 

1. Job Seeking on-the-go

 

So what's so great about job seeking on your mobile? Well frankly, what isn't? It's discreet; you only have to shield your mobile screen from prying eyes, which makes it a lot easier to do some sneaky job hunting on the sly. It's convenient; mobile apps use the power of your mobile data plan, meaning you are no longer confined to a computer or a train with Wi-Fi.

Best of all? It allows you to break up your oh so boring job hunting into manageable bite-sized chunks of time, so you don't go completely crackers. If you have a spare five minutes here and there, just tap, and away you go! If you're job hunting in those tiny nuances of time where you wouldn't normally be doing anything, it feels like a win; because we all know how exhausting job hunting can be, when you'd rather be doing ANYTHING else.

 

2. Save your Searches.

 

"So instead of having to get my head around jobs websites on computers, which can be confusing and unclear at the best of times, I now have the added trial of doing it in miniature; am I missing something here?!"

Yes, indeed angry job seeker, you are missing something. Everything to be exact. Mobile job search applications have streamlined the job seeking process so that a user will only be faced with things they truly need, namely, the job search. And what's more, the ability to save your searches means that you can keep your keystrokes to a minimum, just set up your criteria, and tap once to repeat. Simple.

 

3. Stay Ahead with Job Alerts

 

One of the key advantages to mobile job search has to be the ability to receive new jobs to your mobile. Different applications will handle this differently, whether offering you a 'push' notification service, which will make new jobs appear in your notification bar, jobs by email or perhaps even jobs via text; but the outcome is the same, you get the info you need as soon as it's available. If you're dream job gets posted, you'll be the first to know, putting you in a great position to prepare to apply.

 

4. Stay Smart with In-App Advice.

 

A good job search application will not only have created an all-singing, all-dancing job search for their users to enjoy, but they will also have added handy little features such as mobile job seeking advice. Use the mobile job advice section to ensure you feel confident about nailing that interview. If you're going to write a job application when you get home from work, why not browse the article on job applications whilst waiting for your bus?

 

5. The Cost of Job Hunting

 

"All this app business sounds expensive. I've just shelled out a small fortune for this whizzy 'Smart' phone and now you want me to spend even more money so I can find a new job?!"

The great news is, you can save all your pocket money for [insert popular paid for app here]. Job search apps like allthetopbananas.com are completely free to download and use, the only thing you will truly need to get started is a working mobile internet connection, so your app can find those all-important vacancies online.

 

Download a job search app today and go mobile!

 

Job Search Links:

 

For Android
For iPhone

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Graduates | Redundancy

How to: Deal with Conflict at Work

by Sarah 8. December 2011 11:26

If you work as part of a team within your organisation there has no doubt been a time when you could identify conflict occuring between members of the team. This could involve you personally, or could take place between other members of your team, affecting you indirectly. Conflict in the workplace is very common and these situations can often be very stressful and upsetting for those involved. There are often two main types of conflict at work, but there are of course many situations where disagreements can occur:


Personality Conflict: Workplaces are made up of varieties of diverse people with different personalities working in close proximity all day. Because of this, you may find yourself working with people whom you wouldn't necessarily choose to associate with outside of work. Extremes of personality within an office can clash, especially in smaller offices, where it is difficult to gain distance from those who you don't get on with.


Work-Related Conflicts: Work-related conflicts can manifest in the form of a misunderstanding, a clash of ideas if someone wants to take a different approach to a task, or even a power struggle situation if a member of the team believes he/she should take charge of certain projects. Whatever the cause of the disagreement, it is extremely difficult to work in an environment where there is underlying or overt conflict occurring, and so it is best to try and work through these problems, rather than letting them build over time.


If you find yourself involved in office conflict; what can you do?

 

1. Communication. Often, a lack of communication can be at the heart of office conflict. Difficulties may be resolved if you take a moment to sit down with those involved and have an open an honest discussion of how you feel. Ensure that if you are going to try and resolve conflict this way that you keep a level head, be honest and open but try not to be aggressive in your approach as this could escalate problems further.


2. Don't make things personal. Everyone has good days and bad days and it is easy to take things out on your colleagues even when it is nothing to do with them. If you are stressed with other things, make sure you approach situations objectively. If you were the cause of a disagreement, ask yourself whether you would have behaved in that way if you had not had other things on your mind. If you see you are in the wrong, take the time to apologise and explain yourself. Close teams can feel like a family, and these are often the people that end up bearing the brunt of your bad moods.  Like your family, a colleague should understand if you were having 'one of those days' as long as this isn't a regular occurence! If you are on the receiving end of the conflict, and you are aware that the person is dealing with some personal issues, perhaps letting it go is better than making the situation worse.


3. Involve your manager. If there is no sign of resolution it is often best to inform your manager of the problems you are having. You should be able to discuss your concerns with them privately and they will be able to help find a resolution.

When you are discussing the situation with your manager ensure you are not just blame-placing or passing the buck. If the situation is partly your fault, hold your hands up and admit you may have both been in the wrong, your manager will not think any less of you for admitting your mistakes.

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About the author

The FreeMyCV experts match your job seeking needs with their knowledge of the UK job sites. As well as saving you time and hassle, the service increases your chance of getting that next job. The service is free of charge.

Sarah's FreeMyCV blog helps you with regular posts about interview advice, CV writing tips, redundancy help and much more.

Please send any feedback to sarah@FreeMyCV.com

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