networking http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/2800/all en-US 5 Great Ways to Network That Don't Feel Sleazy http://www.wisebread.com/5-great-ways-to-network-that-dont-feel-sleazy <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-great-ways-to-network-that-dont-feel-sleazy" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/talk-3826524-small.jpg" alt="talking" title="talking" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>While some seasoned professionals can market and network in a natural way, too many can come off as pick-up artists. Whether they are pitching a new health shake multi-level-marketing plan, their child's Girl Scout cookies, or their new tech startup, when someone you encounter has you in their sights to close a business deal, it can feel very, very uncomfortable. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-networking-mistakes-you-shouldnt-make?ref=seealso">Networking Mistakes to Avoid</a>)</p> <p>So what if you're not a natural networker? Most business experts agree that your body language, tone, and ability to put your contact at ease are more important than the where and when of networking. With that in mind, here are some of the best strategies to getting a foot in the door of opportunity with people you see every day.</p> <h2>1. Make the Wait Great</h2> <p>There are so many instances of &quot;hurry up and wait&quot; in today's society, that it may feel like you spend more time in line or in a chair waiting for your turn than actually getting anything done.</p> <p>Since places like airports, physicians' waiting rooms, and bus stops are meccas of professionals who are just like you (trying to get things done), there is an instant emotional connection that can become a genuine starting point for conversation. While tact is key (you would never want to approach someone who appears bereaved at an airport or in very poor health at the Doc's office), someone who is willing to make eye contact and ask you about your profession is giving you permission to at least make small talk. Use your brief chat to exchange a business card, if there isn't time for anything else. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-simple-networking-tricks?ref=seealso">Simple Networking Tricks</a>)</p> <h2>2. Network Around the Kids</h2> <p>I have met more like-minded professionals in the bleachers of my kids' sporting events than any high-dollar business conference I've attended. The team atmosphere and a sense of &quot;belonging&quot; to a group of people that you may never have bonded with otherwise also brings out opportunities to market. Whether you're paired up with another mom for snack duty or you happen to overhear a frank discussion during overtime, it's generally OK to follow-up with questions about business if they are brief and not overbearing. Close any shop talk convos with compliments or questions about the other's son or daughter, however. It is all about the kids, after all. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/your-31-hidden-networks-that-can-help-you-land-jobs?ref=seealso">Hidden Networks to Help You Land Jobs</a>)</p> <h2>3. Share Your Skills</h2> <p>Do you blog, paint, write, or repair? Are people always asking &quot;how do you do that&quot;? Offering a skills class or workshop to the public is a legitimate way to meet others with similar interests, establish yourself as an expert in your trade, and possibly get some media exposure. Coupon bloggers are known for their initiative in holding &quot;savings workshops&quot; in their local churches and schools &mdash; sometimes for free. The result of these gratis offerings have resulted in book deals, consulting gigs, and a lifetime of goodwill that all the direct postcard mailers in the world can't generate.</p> <h2>4. Request a Referral</h2> <p>I am always amazed whenever I meet with a small business owner who tells me that they have hit a wall with getting new clients, and they admit that they rarely ask for referrals. The simple phrase, &quot;I'd be delighted if you'd let your friends know about my services,&quot; is a golden key to bigger and better things, and it costs nothing to say. Referrals lend themselves to some of the easiest networking of all; you and the new lead have at least one friend in common. Use your shared experiences as a jumping off point for discussing business in a way that's neither harsh nor out of place. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-bad-networking-habits-that-will-kill-your-job-prospects?ref=seealso">Bad Networking Habits</a>)</p> <h2>5. Ask Your Fellow Alumni</h2> <p>I hadn't talked to a friend of mine from school in over 20 years. That didn't stop me from sending a LinkedIn message asking permission to refer a business associate to him for a sales pitch. He was happy to help, and it led to some great trips down memory lane. If I wanted to do some business with someone who starred in the 4th grade play with me or shared a marching band awards victory, I would find it easy to do. People whom you've created childhood experiences with are a special class of contacts that you can continue to check in with, no matter how much time has passed. (This is reserved for people who you were on good terms with, however. I wouldn't recommend networking with ex-prom dates or the class bully unless you've worked things out in the meantime.)</p> <p>I have made some of the best business contacts in the most ordinary places. The key isn't to think of some untapped market to sell your wares; it is to maximize the time with those you know and meet to be respectful of their busy lives and offer them something of value. Even if they aren't a good fit for what you have to offer, they should walk away feeling like they are better off from having talked with you.</p> <p><em>Where do you network? Why not try some networking in comments below? </em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-great-ways-to-network-that-dont-feel-sleazy" class="sharethis-link" title="5 Great Ways to Network That Don&#039;t Feel Sleazy" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Career Building Personal Development job search networking referrals Thu, 17 Apr 2014 08:24:14 +0000 Linsey Knerl 1135773 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Things You Can Do to Help an Unemployed Friend Find a Job http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-you-can-do-to-help-an-unemployed-friend-find-a-job <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-things-you-can-do-to-help-an-unemployed-friend-find-a-job" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/friends-5318794-small.jpg" alt="friends" title="friends" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>While the nation's economy is improving from the depths of despair we experienced in 2008 &ndash; 2009, finding a job is still a challenge for a large number of people. Currently, I have a few friends who are looking for new jobs, some unemployed, some underemployed, and others who want to trade in their current jobs for new ones. These recent experiences have prompted me to consider how I can be the best resource and friend possible during their searches. Here's what I've been up to. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-talk-to-friends-about-money?ref=seealso">Should You Talk to Friends About Money?</a>)</p> <h2>1. Offer Up Your Contacts</h2> <p>A few of my friends are interested in transitioning in both directions between for-profit and non-profit organizations. I've worked on both sides of the aisle throughout my career, and I've found a great deal of satisfaction and some difficulties in both. Whenever a friend tells me he or she needs a new job, whether by circumstance or choice, the first thing I do is offer to connect them with people I know who can be helpful to them in their search, especially if they are looking to change industries. I spend a lot of time and effort cultivating my network, and it's a tremendous gift to connect like-minded people who can help one another along their career paths. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/your-31-hidden-networks-that-can-help-you-land-jobs?ref=seealso">Hidden Networks That Can Help You Land a Job</a>)</p> <h2>2. Ask Them What They Really Want to Do</h2> <p>Before I make those connections I mentioned above, I ask each of my friends what they really want to do with their careers going forward. These future plans can simply be the next step on their path or a long-term goal. To be most helpful to them on their journeys, I need to know where they want to go. As Lewis Carroll so brilliantly and insightfully wrote in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, &quot;If you don't know where you're going, any road'll take you there.&quot; We need to have some kind of destination in mind before we set out on a new road.</p> <h2>3. Review the Resume</h2> <p>Just as a map can show us where we've been and the way ahead, a resume succinctly explains our work history and our future ambitions. I always keep mine up-to-date as I add new experiences, although you may find that many of your friends don't have this practice. People are sometimes reluctant to ask for help on their resumes because they are afraid to toot their own horns. Offer your eagle eyes and help a friend brush up a resume so that they shine like the bright stars that they are. Be honest and supportive, encouraging friends to focus on the skills they acquired in each professional experience as well as their achievements and results. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-words-you-need-to-delete-from-your-resume-right-now?ref=seealso">12 Words to Delete From Your Resume</a>)</p> <h2>4. Suggest Groups to Find New Connections</h2> <p>Some people don't realize just how many resources they have in their job search. Many alumni organizations, even if we've graduated a while ago, offer fantastic services to connect to other alums and discover job listings. Professional organizations, LinkedIn groups, and Meetups are other rich pools of opportunities to connect with and learn from others who share our interests and goals.</p> <h2>5. Remind Them to Set Goals and Review Them Regularly</h2> <p>The job search can feel like a grind, especially when it's not going as well as we'd like it to go. We easily lose our way and forget all that we're doing to help ourselves.</p> <p>I encourage my job searching friends to keep track of every person they speak to, every resume and cover letter they submit, and every company that piques their interest. Note the dates and content of the conversation or job listing, and create next steps for each. It's helpful to encourage friends on the hunt for a job to set daily, weekly, and monthly goals and then track their progress. One of the most disorienting parts of the job search is that it feels so overwhelming and often lacks structure. With a plan in hand, we can stay motivated and persistent, two attributes we need to lock down a new job. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-maintain-motivation-when-the-going-gets-tough?ref=seealso">9 Ways to Maintain Motivation</a>)</p> <h2>6. Give Them a Break</h2> <p>Looking for a new job is a stressful experience. Friends need our support in their search, and they also need ways to take their minds off of it every once in a while. Have them over for dinner at your place, catch a movie together, or take a walk or run through the park. The job search is a full-time job in and of itself, and just as we need a break from work to be at our best on the job, we also need a break from the job search so that we put our best foot forward with potential new employers. Sometimes our friends will want to vent about the process, and sometimes they'll want to talk about something completely unrelated. Give them that space and an empathic ear.</p> <p>They say it takes a village to raise a child. It also takes a village to grow a career, and it takes several villages to get through a job search. When a friend is looking for a new role, that's a time when we can really step up and show our care and concern. It's sure to be appreciated and reciprocated.</p> <p><em>How have you helped friends find new jobs? Let us know in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-you-can-do-to-help-an-unemployed-friend-find-a-job" class="sharethis-link" title="6 Things You Can Do to Help an Unemployed Friend Find a Job" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/christa-avampato">Christa Avampato</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Life Hacks General Tips Job Hunting friendship job search networking Thu, 27 Mar 2014 09:36:18 +0000 Christa Avampato 1133027 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Get Someone to Accept Your LinkedIn Invitation http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-someone-to-accept-your-linkedin-invitation <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-get-someone-to-accept-your-linkedin-invitation" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/email-5145617-small.jpg" alt="email" title="email" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Once the domain of corporate types, <a href="http://linkedin.com">LinkedIn</a> is a must-have social network for everyone today no matter what career you have. The social network has done an incredible job curating interesting career-related content from top influencers, listing job opportunities, and giving people a path to connect with others on a professional level. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-simple-networking-tricks?ref=seealso">Simple Networking Tricks</a>)</p> <p>When you want to connect with someone on LinkedIn, it's important to remember a few key points so that the other person accepts your invitation to connect without hesitation, even if they don't know you well.</p> <h2>1. Make It Personal</h2> <p>There's a person behind that LinkedIn profile so make the message you put in the invitation personal. LinkedIn pre-fills every invitation with a generic message such as &quot;Hi. I'd like to connect with you on LinkedIn.&quot; While there's nothing wrong with that message, it could give the person the impression that you didn't care enough to personalize the note. That may lead them to ignore the invitation. Add a short simple message to the invitation that makes it clear why you want to connect. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-bad-networking-habits-that-will-kill-your-job-prospects?ref=seealso">15 Bad Networking Habits</a>)</p> <h2>2. Give Them Context</h2> <p>Do you have a connection in common? Did you meet at an event? Do you have a common interest, employer, or experience? In your invitation, provide some type of professional context that helps the person understand who you are.</p> <h2>3. Express Interest in Their Work</h2> <p>Everyone likes to talk about what they do. Let the people you invite to join your network know that you care about their work. A tasteful, authentic compliment about their recent work can go a long way toward opening up the lines of communication. For example, I am a great admirer of one of the top writers for the Associated Press. I reached out to him to tell him how much I liked a recent piece he wrote, and we've had a series of friendly LinkedIn conversations ever since we connected. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/youre-doing-it-wrong-moron-5-tips-for-giving-better-compliments?ref=seealso">How to Give Better Compliments</a>)</p> <h2>4. Offer to Help Them</h2> <p>Everyone has something to offer. Do you see a way that you could be helpful to this contact you want to make? Offer up your support for something that matters to him or her. Because I'm a writer with a number of outlets, I often offer to write about someone whom I admire. It's amazing what that kind of offer can do to open doors.</p> <h2>5. Keep Your Profile Current</h2> <p>This may sound like a no-brainer, but you'd be surprised how many times I get invitations from people who haven't filled in one bit of their own profiles. Take the time to use the platform to explain who you are, your experience, and your interests. When someone gets an invitation from you, they will likely visit your profile before deciding to accept or ignore your invitation. Think of your profile as a first professional impression you are giving someone. Sometimes, a first impression is the only chance you get on LinkedIn, so make sure you put your best foot forward. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-your-linkedin-profile-noticed-with-a-few-attention-grabbing-tweaks?ref=seealso">Get Your LinkedIn Profile Noticed</a>)</p> <p>Remember that in addition to connecting to a person, you also become a secondary connection to everyone in his or her network. Circles intersect and overlap in fantastic ways, and those circles can open doors that you may not even know exist. As with all other social networks, the more heart, effort, and energy you put into it, the more you'll receive in return. If you'd like to connect with me, look me up at <a href="http://linkedin.com/in/christaavampato">Christa Avampato</a>. Happy connecting!</p> <p><em>Have you scored a particularly valuable connection on LinkedIn? How'd you do it?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-someone-to-accept-your-linkedin-invitation" class="sharethis-link" title="How to Get Someone to Accept Your LinkedIn Invitation" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/christa-avampato">Christa Avampato</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Career Building connections LinkedIn networking social media Wed, 19 Mar 2014 09:36:15 +0000 Christa Avampato 1130832 at http://www.wisebread.com 15 Bad Networking Habits That Will Kill Your Job Prospects http://www.wisebread.com/15-bad-networking-habits-that-will-kill-your-job-prospects <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/15-bad-networking-habits-that-will-kill-your-job-prospects" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/business-3449479-small.jpg" alt="blindfolded business people" title="blindfolded business people" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>For those facing the competitive arena of the job market you likely know that networking with other people in your peer group and beyond could be the ideal way to get your foot in the next door with a job opening. Networking has helped many <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/how-to-network-sincerely-and-effectively">land great jobs</a>. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-simple-networking-tricks?ref=seealso">15 Simple Networking Tricks</a>)</p> <p>However helpful networking can be to your job-finding success, it can also kill any prospects you have on a potential job, especially if you are doing it wrong. Here are 15 job prospect-killing moves you may be guilty of in your search for a new job.</p> <h2>1. Networking With Your Current Boss's Allies</h2> <p>Many people make the mistake of not researching with whom they are speaking. If you talk down your current boss to an acquaintance of his or hers, you likely not only kill any chance of getting a new job, you may be putting your current job at risk.</p> <h2>2. Projecting Poor Body Language</h2> <p>When <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/smart-ways-to-start-and-end-networking-conversations">meeting a potential job contact</a> in person, it is important that you maintain a professional presence no matter the location in which you are meeting. Make sure to make eye contact, offer a firm handshake, and watch your non-verbal actions. If you have a tendency to smirk or roll your eyes, your contact may dismiss you before even finding out about your experience. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-are-what-you-do-16-ways-to-improve-your-body-language?ref=seealso">16 Ways to Improve Your Body Language</a>)</p> <h2>3. Using Terrible Grammar</h2> <p>If you are meeting a networking contact via email, you better make sure your writing skills are up to snuff. Use complete sentences, and don't speak in Internet slang better reserved for texting your friends. Keep profane words out of the conversation and double-check for typos prior to hitting send. If meeting in person, enunciate your words and speak concisely and clearly without slang words.</p> <h2>4. Being a Wallflower</h2> <p>If you are in an environment that is all about networking and making connections but choose to cling to the edge of the room instead of mingling, you likely are ruining a possible good first impression. It may be better to skip these events altogether than give off a bad vibe.</p> <h2>5. Having Poor Manners</h2> <p>Whether online or off, manners are still required. A simple &quot;please&quot; and a &quot;thank you&quot; will get you far. Never interrupt conversations already in progress just to get in a handshake. Lack of manners or basic courtesies are a turn off to many people looking to recruit new talent. Those who consider you to be rude are likely not going to refer you to their own contacts. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-rules-of-etiquette-everyone-should-know-and-follow?ref=seealso">Etiquette Rules You Should Follow</a>)</p> <h2>6. Missing Contact Info</h2> <p>If you are providing others with your business card or other contact information, make sure the details are correct. Someone may be more than interested in giving you a shot at a job but will easily become frustrated when they can't get in touch with you because your phone number has been disconnected or your email account is no longer active.</p> <h2>7. Delaying a Response</h2> <p>If you tend to procrastinate on new interview requests or other job inquiries, you may be showing your true colors to a potential employer. If you have successfully networked with other contacts who in turn contact you for a job, make sure to follow up on emails or phone calls. If you fail to get back in touch within 24 hours, you may be perceived as unreliable.</p> <h2>8. Network Spamming</h2> <p>If you have been lucky enough to get the contact information of people with an &quot;in,&quot; use it wisely. Make the initial contact and wait for a reply. If no reply comes within a week's time do one follow up contact. Avoid becoming a harassing presence in the other person's life with repeated phone calls, emails, or contacts on social media.</p> <h2>9. Missing Appointments</h2> <p>If you have the opportunity to meet with a networking connection, be sure to show up and show up on time. If someone takes the time to hear you out about job opportunities, have the decency to be respectful of their time. Otherwise you will be viewed as irresponsible and not reliable. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-always-be-on-time?ref=seealso">How to Always Be on Time</a>)</p> <h2>10. Telling Lies</h2> <p>While it can be difficult to toot one's own horn to another person in a position of power, some people find it all too easy to hype up their experience by just plain lying. Be truthful about your skills and experience even if you aren't speaking to a hiring authority. No one will want to recommend a known liar to their employer or other acquaintance. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-tell-if-someone-is-lying-other-than-the-long-nose?ref=seealso">How to Tell If Someone Is Lying</a>)</p> <h2>11. Making Inappropriate Confessions</h2> <p>In the process of making small talk with a networking connection, make sure you are aware of what you are saying and how it can impact your job prospects. For instance, if you freely admit to having a house full of stolen office supplies, your connection may find a reason to step away from you quickly.</p> <h2>12. Complaining</h2> <p>While communicating with your potential networking contact, always keep things positive. If you are perceived as a negative person because you constantly complain and rarely seem satisfied with anything, you may be the last person an employer wants in the office. Save your rants for your close friends that are totally unrelated to your job.</p> <h2>13. Burning Your Bridges</h2> <p>If you have had a successful interaction with a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/your-31-hidden-networks-that-can-help-you-land-jobs">networking connection</a> only to discover things didn't work out in your favor, don't burn the bridges you have established out of spite. While this particular job may not be a win for you, the networking contact may be instrumental in the near-future. Don't bad-mouth your allies or be rude because things didn't work in your favor.</p> <h2>14. Offering Too Much Information</h2> <p>There are people that have a bad habit of talking entirely too much for their own good when nervous. When networking with a potential employer practice a few breathing exercises and watch what you say. Telling your potential boss too much information about your personal life can put you at a serious disadvantage.</p> <h2>15. Not Cooling Your Emotions</h2> <p>If you have been without a job for some time or just plain dislike the job you currently have, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed and generally emotional about a new job prospect. If you lose control of your emotions during your networking contact, you may be seen as unstable. Don't cry, yell, or in any other way have a meltdown in front of someone who may be interested in hiring you.</p> <p><em>Anything I've missed? What networking mistakes have you made or have you seen others make?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-bad-networking-habits-that-will-kill-your-job-prospects" class="sharethis-link" title="15 Bad Networking Habits That Will Kill Your Job Prospects" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tisha-tolar">Tisha Tolar</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Career Building Job Hunting job search networking networking mistakes Fri, 21 Feb 2014 10:48:36 +0000 Tisha Tolar 1125261 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Don'ts for Online Networking http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-donts-for-online-networking <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-donts-for-online-networking" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/network-4677821-small.jpg" alt="networking" title="networking" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some great articles on don'ts for online networking, retirement savings in your 40s, and ways to earn passive income.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Things-You-Shouldnt-Do-LinkedIn-17965792">Be a LinkedIn Whiz: 5 Don'ts For Online Networking</a> &mdash; When networking on LinkedIn, don't reach out to someone without reading their profile first. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.narrowbridge.net/start-retirement-savings-in-your-40s/">How to Start Retirement Savings in Your 40s</a> &mdash; To start saving for retirement in your 40s, avoid risk by diversifying your investments. [NarrowBridge Finance]</p> <p><a href="http://www.moolanomy.com/3504/10-surefire-ways-to-earn-passive-income-sconnell/">10 Surefire Ways to Earn Passive Income</a> &mdash; Earn passive income by building websites or writing a book. [Moolanomy]</p> <p><a href="http://timemanagementninja.com/2013/06/7-ways-your-time-management-is-putting-you-at-risk/">7 Ways Your Time Management Is Putting You At Risk</a> &mdash; If your time management skills are lacking, your relationships and money may be suffering. [Time Management Ninja]</p> <p><a href="http://financialhighway.com/15-behavioral-interview-questions-and-answers/">15 Behavioral Interview Questions and Answers</a> &mdash; When asked about an obstacle you overcame during an interview, demonstrate how your positive attributes and skills related to the position you are applying for helped you solve the problem. [Financial Highway]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://retireby40.org/2013/06/why-start-investing-young/">Why you need to start investing when you're young</a> &mdash; It is important to start investing when you are young due to the power of compound interest. [Retire By 40]</p> <p><a href="http://www.dumblittleman.com/2013/06/say-goodbye-to-fast-food-and-master.html">Healthy Living: Say Goodbye to Fast Food and Master the Cooking Habit in 3 Simple, Stress-Free Steps</a> &mdash; Master cooking on a regular basis by planning and grocery shopping once per week. [Dumb Little Man]</p> <p><a href="http://lifehacker.com/everything-you-didnt-know-you-could-do-with-google-voi-512727229">Everything You Didn't Know You Could Do With Google's Voice Commands</a> &mdash; Did you know Google Voice Commands can look up a flight status or area codes? [Lifehacker]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/father-s-day-gifts-the-whole-family-can-help-give">Father's Day Gifts the Whole Family Can Help Give</a> &mdash; This Father's Day, get your dad tickets to a sporting event or make him breakfast in bed. [Parenting Squad]</p> <p><a href="http://www.marcandangel.com/2013/06/09/9-warning-signs-youre-in-bad-company/">9 Warning Signs You're in Bad Company</a> &mdash; You may be in bad company if you feel the negativity of the people you hang out with is rubbing off on you. [Marc and Angel Hack Life]</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-donts-for-online-networking" class="sharethis-link" title="Best Money Tips: Don&#039;ts for Online Networking" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Career and Income best money tips LinkedIn networking online online networking Thu, 13 Jun 2013 10:00:33 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 978123 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Networking Mistakes You Shouldn't Make http://www.wisebread.com/10-networking-mistakes-you-shouldnt-make <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-networking-mistakes-you-shouldnt-make" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/business-network-5145622-small.jpg" alt="networking" title="networking" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Networking makes landing a job, starting a business, and just about everything else in life a little bit easier &mdash; provided you network well. If you connect with people in such a way that you irritate them or show a poor side of yourself, your networking efforts can actually hurt you. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/networking-basics-for-regular-people" target="_blank">Networking Basics for Regular People</a>)</p> <p>It's crucial to avoid networking mistakes as much as possible. The list below is not exhaustive &mdash; there will always be a new way to trip up out there &mdash; but if you can at least avoid these mistakes, you'll be well on your way to improving your networking efforts.</p> <h2>1. Connecting With the Wrong People</h2> <p>Just because <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/effective-networking-in-a-one-horse-town" target="_blank">someone is available</a> doesn't mean they can help with the particular project you're working on. Asking a freelancer, for instance, with help landing a full-time job is just going to confuse that freelancer &mdash; she's just not going to be as familiar with the question as a hiring manager.</p> <h2>2. Networking in a Rush</h2> <p>Some people wait until they desperately need help to network. That approach can lead to some serious desperation, which shows. If your contacts know that you need them much more than they need you, they'll be turned off.</p> <h2>3. Failing to Follow Up</h2> <p>If you connect with someone, you're going to need to keep in touch to actually build a relationship. Going to a networking event and collecting a deck of business cards isn't enough to get you a connection who you can ask for a favor.</p> <h2>4. Being Unprofessional</h2> <p>Networking may not be all about finding a job, but that doesn't mean that you shouldn't be professional about the process. Even little details, like an email address that tries too hard to be cute, can be off-putting.</p> <h2>5. Forcing a Connection Through Multiple Contacts</h2> <p>This particular mistake happens more frequently online. In an attempt to network, a person will send multiple tweets or comment on multiple blog posts very quickly, almost like she's trying to create a connection through quantity of communications.</p> <h2>6. Spamming Your Contacts</h2> <p>Once a connection is established, you effectively have permission to communicate further. But you don't have permission to spam your contacts with updates, email newsletters, requests to fund your Kickstarter, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/network-marketing-parties-opportunity-or-emotional-blackmail" target="_blank">or anything else</a>. You need to send personalized communications if you want people to pay attention.</p> <h2>7. Making It All About You</h2> <p>There has to be some give (as well as some take) in networking so that your connections will continue to want to help you in the long run.</p> <h2>8. Monopolizing a New Connection's Time</h2> <p>Particularly at networking events, there's a temptation to talk to someone for as long as possible &mdash; to really cement the new relationship &mdash; but doing so frustrates everyone else in the room. And it might not just be people in the room you're irritating. Everyone you meet has a life outside of the place you meet them.</p> <h2>9. Failing to Return the Favor</h2> <p>If a connection does you a favor, there's an expectation that you'll try to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-being-nice-at-work-can-payoff" target="_blank">help him out down the road</a>. You may not always be able to follow up perfectly, but intentionally blowing off a connection's request is rude.</p> <h2>10. Lying</h2> <p>You would think that people would know better than to lie. Don't lie to a new connection about what you can do or who you know. Your new contact will discover your lie, and sooner than you think.</p> <p><em>Any networking mistakes I've overlooked? Please share them in comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-networking-mistakes-you-shouldnt-make" class="sharethis-link" title="10 Networking Mistakes You Shouldn&#039;t Make" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/thursday-bram">Thursday Bram</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Job Hunting meeting people networking networking mistakes Wed, 12 Jun 2013 10:24:33 +0000 Thursday Bram 977970 at http://www.wisebread.com Great Ways to Save Money by Volunteering http://www.wisebread.com/great-ways-to-save-money-by-volunteering <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/great-ways-to-save-money-by-volunteering" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/lifeguard-886398-small.jpg" alt="volunteer" title="volunteer" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I&rsquo;ve always been the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-important-lessons-frugal-parents-teach-their-children">volunteering</a> type, especially since I became a mom. I believe strongly in helping others, and I want my daughter to learn that value, too. For the last decade I have been part of a community recreation board, helped with youth sports programs, and served as a Girl Scout leader. Recently, I have taken an interest in helping out at a friend&rsquo;s equine farm. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/money-making-lessons-from-the-girl-scouts">Money-Making Lessons From the Girl Scouts</a>)</p> <p>I have found that my volunteering has been personally rewarding, but those efforts have helped me financially, too. No, none of those volunteer positions were paying positions, but they nevertheless helped me save money and boost the bottom line.</p> <h2>Free Admission</h2> <p>I have been able to attend a lot of <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/47-cheap-fun-things-to-do-this-weekend">great events</a>, even with my family, at no cost to me. I may have to spend some time behind the concession stand, and I may have to stay later to help clean up. But it has always turned out to be a great time, and we don&rsquo;t have to worry about expenses for a night out. We have also been able to eat free at the events.</p> <h2>No-Cost Extras</h2> <p>Sometimes at the end of the night there are extra things like food that didn&rsquo;t get sold or cannot be used again. In most cases, these items are given away rather than tossed into the trash. Food is not the only thing I have scored at the end of an event. I&rsquo;ve gratefully accepted craft and art supplies, clothing, and other promotional items.</p> <h2>It&rsquo;s All About Who You Know</h2> <p>There are a lot of great people you want to know, especially when you are in a pinch. Plumbers, carpenters, lawyers, and a host of other professionals are all volunteers. I&rsquo;ve met many people who I might not have otherwise become friendly with that have helped me at a lower cost or for no charge at all. As a big fan of the barter system, I have also been successful at helping people with marketing and website content in exchange for getting my lawnmower repaired.</p> <h2>Networking Opportunities</h2> <p>As a freelance writer, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/networking-basics-for-regular-people">networking</a> is vital to my work. Since I also dabble in marketing, I have found that local connections give me the opportunity to meet small business owners and organizations that could benefit from my help. I can do this kind of connecting on a casual basis without spending a dime. I am also more likely to get the work because I get to know people on a personal level.</p> <h2>Fun Privileges</h2> <p>There have been many occasions in the past that have allowed me access to places and things I may not have been able to get without my volunteer connections. I&rsquo;ve been able to borrow character costumes for my kid&rsquo;s birthday party, march in parades, and participate in many fun things at no cost. I&rsquo;m currently planning my daughter&rsquo;s birthday party at the horse farm at no cost to me, saving me a few hundred bucks in rental space.</p> <h2>No Gym Fees</h2> <p>Volunteering definitely keeps me moving. Some opportunities provide much more activity than others, but the fact is I am getting out of the house and moving around. As a work-at-home writer, I don&rsquo;t have much occasion to leave the house outside of local errands. With my volunteer work, I have a reason to get out and about. I can&rsquo;t beat the physical activity at my latest opportunity. A few hours of barn work replaces several hundred dollars a year in <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-going-to-the-gym-is-a-waste-of-money-time-and-resources">gym membership</a> fees. Not only that, but I love the work I do &mdash; something I cannot say about formal exercise.</p> <p>Certainly you should volunteer your time because you genuinely like to help people and spend your time purposefully. But if you have been considering taking on some volunteer work, you can look at things from your own perspective as well as for those you are directly helping. You never know what awaits you!</p> <p><em>Have your volunteer efforts helped you financially?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/great-ways-to-save-money-by-volunteering" class="sharethis-link" title="Great Ways to Save Money by Volunteering" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tisha-tolar">Tisha Tolar</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Lifestyle affordable exercise networking volunteering Fri, 12 Apr 2013 09:48:33 +0000 Tisha Tolar 971376 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Tax Deductions Job-Hunters Can’t Afford to Overlook http://www.wisebread.com/6-tax-deductions-job-hunters-can-t-afford-to-overlook <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-tax-deductions-job-hunters-can-t-afford-to-overlook" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/4797027866_37fe25954b_z.jpg" alt="man walking" title="man walking" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="223" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When you&rsquo;re out of work, any help you can get with expenses is more than welcome. Sometimes these gifts come from unexpected sources, such as the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS provides tax deductions for job-hunting expenses that reduce your taxable income and decrease your tax bill. As an added bonus, you can claim them even if you didn&rsquo;t land a job that tax year. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/16-great-tax-deductions-you-may-have-overlooked">16 Great Tax Deductions You&nbsp;May Have Overlooked</a>)</p> <p>However, there are a few caveats:</p> <ul> <li>Your job hunting expenses must add up to at least 2% of your total gross income to qualify as deductions.&nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You must be looking for work in the same field. Unfortunately, career changers aren&rsquo;t able to benefit from the government&rsquo;s generosity.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>People looking for their first job are out of luck, too. You can only deduct job search expenses if you&rsquo;ve already been employed, even if it was part-time.&nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>The IRS doesn&rsquo;t recognize job hunting expenses you incur after a &ldquo;substantial break&rdquo; between losing your job and starting your search. While the agency doesn&rsquo;t provide a specific definition for &ldquo;substantial break,&rdquo; waiting months to start your search may be a mistake.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Most of these deductions allow you to write off the costs in full, but some do have limits. Check with a tax professional if you&rsquo;re unsure.</li> </ul> <p>The sum of these expenses is listed as a single itemized deduction on line 21 of Schedule A. You won&rsquo;t have to send in any receipts or other documentation with your return, but make sure you have them just in case the IRS initiates an audit. Without comprehensive records, the IRS may disallow them and make you pay any additional tax you owe.&nbsp;</p> <h2>1. Employment Services</h2> <p>Using employment services can give you a boost in your job search, but the costs can get steep. Luckily, job seekers can deduct the fees associated with <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-unique-ways-to-score-a-job-interview">employment counseling, headhunters, or other job placement services</a>. You can also deduct the costs of placing job-seeking ads in newspapers or on classified websites. Fees you pay for access or membership to job ad websites are similarly deductible.</p> <h2>2. Resume Preparation</h2> <p>Your resume is the first impression potential employers have of you, and sometimes you need to shell out a good bit of money to get it just right. You can deduct expenses you incur from professional resume preparation services, as well as books that provide resume-related advice and instruction. You can also write off printing and copying costs such as ink and paper, mailing when you send your resume to employers.</p> <h2>3. Communication</h2> <p>Local and long-distance phone calls you make via land line or cell phone to inquire about work or for job interview purposes are deductible. Keep in mind that unless you use the phone service solely for job-hunting purposes, you cannot deduct your entire phone bill. Only the portion of the charges that directly relate to your employment search are eligible. Request itemized bills so you can see exactly when you made the calls, how long they lasted, and how much they cost.</p> <h2>4. Networking and Professional Development</h2> <p>The fees you pay to attend job fairs, seminars, conferences, and other <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-simple-networking-tricks"> networking events</a> while looking for work are also deductible. You can even write off fees for online networking sites and premium employment services such as those offered by LinkedIn. If you take any classes or training courses to build your skills and make yourself more marketable to employers, you can write off those expenses as well.</p> <h2>5. Travel</h2> <p>Travel expenses can be a little tricky, but if you don&rsquo;t mind a little math, you should be able to write off a good portion of your costs. The IRS gives job hunters a $0.55 deduction per mile that covers both local and out-of-town driving to job interviews, networking events, and other job-related trips. You can also write off parking fees. If you use mass transportation or travel via air or rail, you can deduct the costs in full. Hotel or other lodging costs are deductible as well. And if you grab a bite to eat while you&rsquo;re hitting the pavement, whether it&rsquo;s a fast food breakfast in your car or a lunch interview at a fancy restaurant, you can write off 50%of each meal.</p> <h2>6. Childcare</h2> <p>While this last one isn&rsquo;t actually a deduction, it&rsquo;s still a huge help for many job seekers. The child and dependent care credit covers up to 35% of your day care or <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-on-babysitting-without-ending-up-on-the-local-news">babysitting costs</a> dollar-for-dollar, directly reducing the amount of tax you owe instead of reducing your taxable income. You can only claim expenses that you incurred while looking for a job and you must have the provider&rsquo;s Social Security or Employer Identification number to qualify.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-tax-deductions-job-hunters-can-t-afford-to-overlook" class="sharethis-link" title="6 Tax Deductions Job-Hunters Can’t Afford to Overlook" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/lauren-treadwell">Lauren Treadwell</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Job Hunting Taxes job hunting expenses networking resumes tax deductions Tue, 09 Apr 2013 10:24:31 +0000 Lauren Treadwell 973338 at http://www.wisebread.com 25 Career Changes You Can Make Today http://www.wisebread.com/25-career-changes-you-can-make-today <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/25-career-changes-you-can-make-today" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_office_window.jpg" alt="Man at office window" title="Man at office window" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="131" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We're all busy. And that means we get caught up in our day-to-day responsibilities and rarely have time to take a step back and look at the bigger picture, asking &quot;Where is my career going?&quot;</p> <p>Here are 25 things you can do today to make sure your career ship is cruising in the right direction. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-awesome-websites-to-help-you-get-a-job">25 Awesome Websites to Help You Get a Job</a>)</p> <h2>Read Up</h2> <p>Reading is important because it's how we learn new things and stay up to date with what's happening in the world. Here are some things you should read to keep you as productive as possible.</p> <p><strong>1. Books</strong></p> <p>There are a million books out there about how to &ldquo;boost&rdquo; your career. But here are four recent ones I've read that bring a unique perspective to the field. Their goal is to treat your career as if you are a freelancer offering your services. It&rsquo;s your job to hustle and make sure your services are in demand. The rarer and more valuable those services are, the better off you&rsquo;ll be. As for &quot;SPIN Selling,&quot; there are some sales strategies in there you can use during interviews to help you get the job.</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0307951529/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=0307951529&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20"> &quot;The $100 Startup&quot;</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0307888908/ref=as_li_tf_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=0307888908&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20"> &quot;Startup of You&quot;</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1455509124/ref=as_li_tf_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=1455509124&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20"> &quot;So Good They Can&rsquo;t Ignore You&quot;<br /> </a></li> <li><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0070511136/ref=as_li_tf_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=0070511136&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20">&quot;SPIN Selling&quot;</a></li> </ul> <p><strong>2. The News</strong></p> <p>Make the news a part of your routine. It&rsquo;s important that you stay &ldquo;in the know&rdquo; about what&rsquo;s happening in the job market, what industries are getting coverage, and what&rsquo;s &ldquo;hot&rdquo; (and more importantly...what's not).</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://online.wsj.com/home-page">WSJ</a></li> <li><a href="http://finance.yahoo.com/"> Yahoo Finance</a></li> </ul> <p><strong>3. Blogs</strong></p> <p>Good blogs are a great way to keep the pulse of the career field and get actionable advice that&rsquo;s tried and true. If you're obsessive and love to read, make sure to check out <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-career-advice-sites-you-should-know-about">15 Career Advice Sites You Should Know About</a> or these blogs:</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://calnewport.com/blog/"> Cal Newport</a></li> <li><a href="http://blog.penelopetrunk.com/"> Penelope Trunk</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.iwillteachyoutoberich.com/blog/"> Ramit Sethi</a></li> <li><a href="http://blogs.hbr.org/"> Harvard Business School</a></li> </ul> <h2>Connect With People</h2> <p>You&rsquo;re not going to advance far in your career without some help (and a little luck). So make sure you are constantly building a network of people you admire that you can learn from.</p> <p><strong>4. Online</strong></p> <p>LinkedIn is a great way to keep in touch with people in your industry and keep track of what they&rsquo;re doing and worrying about. If someone you admire tweets about a problem, you have a cool opportunity to help them out. It&rsquo;s also a great way to study up on a potential new boss/employer.</p> <ul> <li><a href="https://twitter.com/">Twitter</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.linkedin.com/">LinkedIn</a></li> </ul> <p><strong>5. At Work</strong></p> <p>The people you work with today are the people your next job will be calling for references. You don't have to be a fake, just remember that the goal is to get things done and for the entire group to be successful. Be friendly. Be a team player. You can&rsquo;t do it all by yourself &mdash; and you will have a heck of a time getting anything done if your colleagues don&rsquo;t like your attitude.</p> <p><strong>6. Your College Network</strong></p> <p>Most universities and colleges have an alumni association that you can join. Once you&rsquo;re in, you can search the alumni database by company, industry, and even title. Right off the bat you have something in common with these people, so use the relationship wisely (don&rsquo;t spam!).</p> <p><strong>7. Find a Mentor</strong></p> <p>Mentors are essential in developing your career. We all think we can do it on our own, but that&rsquo;s just youthful bravado talking. Find someone you respect and trust that has experience and try to learn as much as you can from them. It might be your boss or it might be a former boss...you never know.</p> <p><strong>8. Help a Coworker</strong></p> <p>Keep an eye out for someone that has too much on their plate or is obviously frustrated. Then try to help them out. Take on some of their work. Push a deadline back for them. Take them out to coffee to give them a break. Anything. Just let them know you&rsquo;re there to help. Help your team today, and they will be there to help you down the line.</p> <h2>Software Savers</h2> <p>I'm a tech guy, so I love using software to make my life easier. Here are some tools I highly recommend.</p> <p><strong>9. Use Prezi for Presentations</strong></p> <p>PowerPoint is a snooze-fest, so go to <a href="http://www.prezi.com">Prezi.com</a> and take a few minutes to learn the basics. Next time you (or a coworker) need to make a presentation, wow everyone by using Prezi instead. Then show everyone else how to use it. No more boring PowerPoint slides to sit through, and you've just demonstrated some leadership.</p> <p><strong>10. Defend Your Time Against Distractions</strong></p> <p>Regardless of what email program you use, this advice holds. Turn off the notifications that beep or pop up every time an email comes in; these distractions are productivity killers.</p> <p>Also, use your calendar wisely &mdash; schedule your day in advance by blocking off time so, a) no one bothers you, and b) you have clear direction on what you&rsquo;re doing throughout the day. Add a couple of blocks throughout the day for checking email.</p> <p><strong>11. Become an Excel Master</strong></p> <p>You&rsquo;ll probably never become as good as <a href="http://www.chandoo.org" target="_blank">this guy</a>, but you should at least learn to do more than basic charts with Excel. There&rsquo;s a reason why this is so expensive. It can save you hours of work, make you look real smart, and give you some great insight when you have tons of data. As I&rsquo;ve said before, it&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/excel-the-most-underrated-software-you-already-own">the most underrated piece of software you already own</a>.</p> <p><strong>12. Try Evernote</strong></p> <p><a href="http://evernote.com/">Evernote</a> allows you to store all your notes, pictures, lists, links, and anything else you can think of in one cloud-based location. It makes everything searchable, so you can always find that article you flagged or those meeting notes you stored. You may or may not wind up using it, but try it anyway. Some people use it to take notes in meetings and wind up becoming as attached to it as they are to their email client.</p> <h2>Your Salary</h2> <p>One of the most important parts of your career is what you're worth to the market. The sooner you maximize this, the better off off you'll be down the line &mdash; think of it as an investment that pays off the earlier you start executing.</p> <p><strong>13. Run a Salary Audit</strong></p> <p>The goal is to figure out if you&rsquo;re being paid fairly. Use salary-comparison sites like <a href="http://www.salary.com">Salary.com</a> and <a href="http://www.glassdoor.com">Glassdoor</a> to get a range of where you should be. Be warned &mdash; you might find you&rsquo;re paid fairly (and might be overpaid!) even if you feel you deserve more! For more on salary audits, check out my <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/getting-the-most-out-of-salary-comparison-sites">salary guide</a>.</p> <p><strong>14. Control Your Spending</strong></p> <p>Making more is the best way to boost your finances, but you also have to control how much you spend. It isn&rsquo;t as hard as you think. Spend less than you make, and get rid of your debt as quickly as you possibly can.</p> <p><strong>15. Automate Your Finances</strong></p> <p>As much as we love to talk about money, we shouldn&rsquo;t be wasting all of our time thinking and worrying about it. Automate your savings, your bills, and your investments so you don&rsquo;t have to spend time managing it every month. Now take that time and devote it to planning ahead.</p> <h2>Plot Your Next Move</h2> <p>You should always be ready to make a move because you never know when a random opportunity (or a layoff) will come along.</p> <p><strong>16. Work Smarter</strong></p> <p>Before you try to find another job, make sure you&rsquo;re killing it at your current job. Make life easier for yourself and for others by finding efficiencies, working smarter, and getting things done. Easier said than done, I know, but when you&rsquo;re out there interviewing, you want to have concrete examples of how you created value in the past.</p> <p><strong>17. Learn More Skills</strong></p> <p>This isn&rsquo;t easy either, but if you&rsquo;ve been reading the news and some good blogs around your industry, then you should have a pretty good idea of what you should add to your arsenal. Maybe it&rsquo;s software skills or a certification, but in order to get to the next step you have to add these skills. Before you go back to school and go into debt, look into alternative online learning solutions like <a href="https://www.coursera.org/">Coursera</a>, <a href="http://www.lynda.com">Lynda</a>, and online universities.</p> <p><strong>18. Learn How to Interview</strong></p> <p>Interviewing is an art form, and you have to know how to drive the conversation and tell your story. I could point you to a million different resources on this, but I&rsquo;ll make this simple. Go to New York Times bestseller <a href="http://iwillteachyoutoberich.com">Ramit Sethi&rsquo;s site</a> and read all the free stuff he offers. Even without paying for his Dream Job program, you&rsquo;ll still get a ton of value. Start there and sign up to get his hilarious/insightful emails.</p> <p><strong>19. Be Flexible</strong></p> <p>Most people think they are in control of their careers. You pick a field/industry/job, and then you plow ahead, doing your best to go as far as possible. That&rsquo;s not realistic. Things that interest you will lure you into different areas. Stuff you had no idea existed will come into play. You&rsquo;ll get laid off. You&rsquo;ll get promoted. You&rsquo;ll switch jobs. Be open to these changes, and don&rsquo;t shut any doors because they don&rsquo;t mesh with your &ldquo;five year plan.&rdquo; The best course of action is to be ready for anything because the unexpected moves sometimes wind up being the best moves you ever make.</p> <h2>About Your Boss</h2> <p>This person is a huge player in your career &mdash; whether you like it or not. So make sure you're devoting some time and energy to this relationship.</p> <p><strong>20. Have a Sit Down</strong></p> <p>Communication is crucial, especially with the person you report to. Whether you get along with your boss or not (in a perfect world you at least respect and trust him or her), you need to have a clear understanding of what&rsquo;s expected of you and how you can exceed those expectations. Not sure how to &ldquo;hit a homerun&rdquo; for your boss? Ask, and then execute.</p> <p><strong>21. Pretend You&rsquo;re the Boss</strong></p> <p>I don&rsquo;t mean put your feet on your desk and start bossing people around. I mean really take the time to imagine yourself in your boss&rsquo;s shoes. Think about her day-to-day, the people she manages, the boss she has to answer to. All of that...think about it real hard. Sometimes a little empathy goes a long way. Plus, it will help you on your next task.</p> <p><strong>22. Help Your Boss</strong></p> <p>We&rsquo;re all very busy, but pay close attention to your boss for a week. I mean, really pay attention. What&rsquo;s bothering him? What&rsquo;s keeping him up at night? What worries him? Now spend some of your time trying to make his life easier.</p> <h2>Acquire&nbsp;New Skills</h2> <p>Your career can&rsquo;t progress if you don&rsquo;t learn new, practical skills that are valued in the workforce. Just because you graduated college doesn&rsquo;t mean you should stop learning. If you do, you&rsquo;ll stagnate real quick.</p> <p><strong>23. Get Technical</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/give-your-career-a-boost-with-one-skill">Learning to program</a> isn&rsquo;t easy, but having a basic understanding of how things like websites and apps are created can go a long way. So check out sites like <a href="http://www.about.com">About.com</a>, <a href="http://Udemy.com">Udemy</a>, and <a href="http://www.codecademy.com/">Code Academy</a> to get a jump start on the essentials. Heck, you might even find yourself getting into it and wanting to learn more.</p> <p><strong>24. Start a Blog</strong></p> <p>I&rsquo;ve always believed <a href="http://www.thewriterscoin.com/to-blog-or-not-to-blog-that-is-the-question/">everyone can benefit from having a blog</a>. If you commit to a regular posting schedule, you&rsquo;ll find yourself reading more industry-related news and staying on top of your space. This is a good thing. The blog is an outlet where you can discuss topics that you find especially interesting and potentially find others who are interested in the same things you are. Plus, it&rsquo;ll teach you the basics of SEO and social media, and you'll be building your &quot;brand&quot; as an expert in your industry. With practice you&rsquo;ll eventually become a better writer.</p> <p><strong>25. Teach Others</strong></p> <p>You can&rsquo;t call yourself a master at anything until you&rsquo;ve taught it to others. So pick out something you&rsquo;re really good at, and share it with others trying to learn it. It can be someone you work with or perfect strangers online. And if you can&rsquo;t get motivated to do it, you can try to sell your course on sites like <a href="http://udemy.com">Udemy</a>.</p> <p><strong>Bonus</strong></p> <p>Have something on the side. I've found that my day-to-day is way more satisfying when I'm working on a side project outside of work. It gives me a sense of empowerment and accomplishment that lets me know I'm not just my job. Which oddly enough motivates me even more at work. Whether it's a blog or a freelance business, just find something you enjoy doing and devote some time to it.</p> <p><em>If you have any other tips that you've found to be effective, please share them in the comments!</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-career-changes-you-can-make-today" class="sharethis-link" title="25 Career Changes You Can Make Today" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carlos-portocarrero">Carlos Portocarrero</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Career Building career advice networking skills Thu, 08 Nov 2012 10:36:56 +0000 Carlos Portocarrero 955017 at http://www.wisebread.com Ask the Readers: Do You Attend Networking Events? http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-do-you-attend-networking-events <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/ask-the-readers-do-you-attend-networking-events" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/3531041287_2392e60fe9_z-1.jpg" alt="Do You Attend Networking Events?" title="Do You Attend Networking Events?" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>Editor's Note: Congratulations to </em><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-do-you-attend-networking-events#comment-539426"><em>Francesca</em></a><em>, </em><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-do-you-attend-networking-events#comment-539245"><em>Betty D</em></a><em>, and </em><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-do-you-attend-networking-events#comment-539592"><em>JoAn</em></a><em> for winning this week's contest!</em></p> <p>Everyone has heard the saying &quot;it's not what you know, but who you know.&quot; Oftentimes having a connection at a company you want to work for can help you get your foot in the door and land a job! One of the best ways to connect with other professionals is to attend networking events.</p> <p><b>Do you attend networking events?</b><span style="font-weight:normal">&nbsp;If so, how often? How do you find events? Have you ever met someone at an event who helped you find a new job? Have you ever helped someone you met at an event get a job?</span></p> <p>Tell us if you attend networking events and we'll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!</p> <h2>Win 1 of 3 $20 Amazon Gift Cards</h2> <p>We're doing three giveaways &mdash; one for random comments, one for random Facebook &quot;Likes&quot;, and another one for random tweets.</p> <h3>Mandatory Entry:&nbsp;</h3> <ul> <li>Post your answer in the comments below&nbsp;</li> </ul> <h3>For extra entries (1 per action):</h3> <ul> <li>Go to our <a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Wise-Bread/26830741467?ref=ts">Facebook page</a>, &quot;Like&quot; us, and leave a comment on this article telling us you did, or</li> <li><a href="http://www.twitter.com/">Tweet</a> your answer. You have to be a follower of our <a href="http://twitter.com/wisebread">@wisebread account</a>. Include both &quot;@wisebread&quot; and &quot;#WBAsk&quot; in your tweet so we'll see it and count it. Leave a link to your tweet (click the timestamp for the individual URL) in a separate comment.</li> </ul> <p><strong>If you're inspired to write a whole blog post OR you have a photo on flickr to share, please link to it in the comments or tweet it.</strong></p> <h4>Giveaway Rules:</h4> <ul> <li>Contest ends Monday, July 16th at 11:59 pm Pacific. Winners will be announced after July 16th on the original post. Winners will also be contacted via email.</li> <li>You can enter all three drawings &mdash; once by leaving a comment, once by liking our Facebook update, and once by tweeting.</li> <li>This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered, or associated with Facebook.</li> <li>You must be 18 and US resident to enter. Void where prohibited.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Good Luck!</strong></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-do-you-attend-networking-events" class="sharethis-link" title="Ask the Readers: Do You Attend Networking Events?" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Tell us if you attend networking events and we&#039;ll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card! </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Giveaways Ask the Readers events networking Tue, 10 Jul 2012 10:36:12 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 939803 at http://www.wisebread.com Smart Ways to Start and End Networking Conversations http://www.wisebread.com/smart-ways-to-start-and-end-networking-conversations <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/smart-ways-to-start-and-end-networking-conversations" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/5752724342_dc6303b802_z.jpg" alt="women networking" title="women networking" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When I first started attending networking events, I was terrified to approach large groups of strangers. I watched some of my peers dive into these situations with ease and wondered how on earth they made it look so natural. Meanwhile, I found myself sitting awkwardly alone, clutching a cocktail and desperately brainstorming conversation topics.</p> <p>Fortunately, I&rsquo;ve <a title="My Crazy Year of Networking: What I Learned from 96 People" href="http://www.thedailymuse.com/job-search/what-i-learned-networking-with-96-people-last-year/">improved my networking skills</a> over the years, and am much less likely now to stick out like a sore thumb at events. I&rsquo;ve learned that the most important part of successful networking is to have a good icebreaker to start a conversation and a smooth closing statement for when you&rsquo;re ready to move on.</p> <p>Here are a few inside tips to help you master the art of starting and ending those tricky conversations.</p> <h2>Opening Lines</h2> <p><strong>To Start a Conversation</strong></p> <p>A simple introduction can transition into a solid conversation if you&rsquo;re willing to share a bit about yourself right off the bat.</p> <p><strong>Try:</strong> Hi, I&rsquo;m Jessica, and I work in the PR department at Company X. My role has been super challenging lately because of all the new regulations around paid placements in media spots. Have you been dealing with that, too?</p> <p><strong>To Make a Friend</strong></p> <p>A big event can be a lot more fun (and <a title="An Introvert&rsquo;s Guide to Networking" href="http://www.thedailymuse.com/job-search/an-introverts-guide-to-networking/">a lot less intimidating</a>) if you can find a pal to stick by your side. Asking someone to explore different areas with you is a nice way to talk with less pressure.</p> <p><strong>Try:</strong> Hi, have you been to the silent auction table yet? I&rsquo;m heading over there now and would love some company.</p> <p><strong>To Get Advice</strong></p> <p>If you&rsquo;re interested in a new opportunity or area of work, networking is a great way to <a title="5 Keys to Acing Your Informational Interview" href="http://www.thedailymuse.com/job-search/acing-your-informational-interview/">get more information</a>. Don&rsquo;t be afraid to ask someone candid questions after giving some background on why you&rsquo;re interested.</p> <p><strong>Try:</strong> Hi, I see that you work at Company X. I&rsquo;ve always been interested in their work, and recently saw a position open up that I&rsquo;m thinking about applying to. Do you have any advice for me? What&rsquo;s it like working there?</p> <p><strong>To Get Your Bearings</strong></p> <p>Large conferences and events can be pretty overwhelming. If you&rsquo;re a first-time attendee, approaching someone for assistance can be an easy way to start a conversation. Look for someone who seems familiar with the scene and ask for an insider tip.</p> <p><strong>Try:</strong> Hi, I&rsquo;ve never been to this event before. You look like a regular &mdash; any tips you could give me on what to expect? What are the best sessions here?</p> <p><strong>To Lighten the Mood</strong></p> <p>When in doubt, ask a question to prompt a conversation. Stick with light, generic topics, and offer them with a smile.</p> <p><strong>Try:</strong> How many people do you think are here? Can you believe we have to wear these awful name tags? Were you here last year when the keynote speaker was late?</p> <h2>Parting Ways</h2> <p>The icebreakers above can be the launching pad you need to start networking and feel more comfortable in an unfamiliar situation. But unless you&rsquo;re lucky enough to stumble into your soul mate at a trade show, you&rsquo;ll eventually need a natural way to exit a conversation. A good rule of thumb is to talk for 5 to 10 minutes &mdash; and then move on.</p> <p>Here are some closing statements that are polite, but still get the point across that it&rsquo;s time to hit the road.</p> <p><strong>To Exit Gracefully</strong></p> <p>Sometimes, even when you&rsquo;ve met someone interesting, the time comes when you&rsquo;re ready to peruse the rest of the event. This is a great time to hand off one of those business cards burning a hole in your pocket.</p> <p><strong>Try:</strong>&nbsp;Steve, it was really a pleasure speaking with you. I&rsquo;m going to take a look at some of the other exhibits here, but if I don&rsquo;t run into you later, I hope to see you at another event soon.</p> <p><strong>To Connect Later On</strong></p> <p>When someone you&rsquo;ve met seems like a valuable contact, make sure you exchange information before you part. You can even <a title="5 Keys to Acing Your Informational Interview" href="http://www.thedailymuse.com/job-search/acing-your-informational-interview/">suggest a future meeting</a> to speak one-on-one.</p> <p><strong>Try:</strong> Margaret, I have to head out right now, but I really enjoyed learning more about your work. Could I get your contact info to schedule a time for us to finish our conversation?</p> <p><strong>To Plan a Follow-up Date</strong></p> <p>If you think that you&rsquo;ll run into a new contact at another upcoming event, why not plan to attend together? This helps you build a relationship with a good connection and can help you feel more comfortable at that next event.</p> <p><strong>Try:</strong> I had a great time talking with you &mdash; are you planning to go to the expo next month? It seems like something that would be relevant to both of us, so maybe we could go together.</p> <p><strong>To Get Advice and Get Out the Door</strong></p> <p>A new contact can be a valuable resource, but that doesn&rsquo;t mean you need a shadow all night. When it&rsquo;s time to part ways, be honest that you&rsquo;d like to follow up at a later date, and then say a polite goodbye.</p> <p><strong>Try:</strong>&nbsp;Mike, I&rsquo;m in a tricky stage in my career and wonder if I could pick your brain for advice over lunch some time soon. I need to say hello to a few others here, but can we plan to connect next week?</p> <p><strong>To Just Flee the Scene</strong></p> <p>Sometimes, you end up talking to someone who really isn&rsquo;t that pleasant or interesting. I once got trapped in an endless conversation about uses for old dryer sheets (I wish I was kidding). When you&rsquo;re struggling for more conversation and need a reprieve, be kind, but assertive.</p> <p><strong>Try:</strong> Laura, it&rsquo;s been great getting to know you, but I need to say hello to a few more folks around here. I hope you have a great evening.</p> <p>Networking isn&rsquo;t always smooth sailing, and most of us have at least a few awkward experiences to share. But learning how to start and close conversations is one of the best ways to master this important skill. With any luck, you&rsquo;ll make some connections, you&rsquo;ll find some event buddies, and you&rsquo;ll gain some helpful professional resources.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Networking can be incredibly valuable...once you get the conversation started. Follow these suggestions to get in and out of conversations with ease. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><em>This is a guest post from </em><a href="http://misadventuresblog.com/"><em>Jessica Taylor</em></a><em> of The </em><a href="http://www.thedailymuse.com/"><em>The Daily Muse</em></a><em>. Check out more great personal finance and career building advice from The Daily Muse:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.thedailymuse.com/job-search/3-ways-to-answer-whats-your-biggest-weakness/">3 Ways to Answer &quot;What's Your Biggest Weakness&quot;?</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.thedailymuse.com/social/how-a-list-can-change-your-life/">How a List Can Change Your Life</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.thedailymuse.com/job-search/6-ways-to-network-in-a-new-city/">6 Ways to Network in a New City</a></li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/daily-muse">Daily Muse</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Career Building communication conversation networking Thu, 05 Apr 2012 09:48:14 +0000 Daily Muse 915133 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Crucial Job Searching Steps Most People Skip http://www.wisebread.com/6-crucial-job-searching-steps-most-people-skip <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-crucial-job-searching-steps-most-people-skip" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000009131941Small2.jpg" alt="Woman asking to be hired" title="Woman asking to be hired" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="146" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>This series is brought to you by </em><a href="http://ad.doubleclick.net/clk;253156195;77023193;i"><em>TurboTax Federal Free Edition</em></a><em>.</em></p> <p>After making the decision to look for a new job, most job seekers put together a resumé and then start networking and marketing themselves to potential employers. Naturally, you hope to attract interest and win a job offer as soon as possible.</p> <p>Fueled with the desire to take positive action quickly, however, you may skip important aspects of your job search. Even if unhurried, you may not realize that figuring out what <em>you</em> want in a job and an employer helps you increases your chances of getting hired.</p> <p>Here are crucial steps that people often miss when conducting a job search. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-outdated-job-search-techniques-to-avoid">10 Outdated&nbsp;Job Search&nbsp;Techniques to Avoid</a>)</p> <h3>1. Defining Your Ideal Job</h3> <p>You may jump into a search without considering what&rsquo;s best for you because you do not want to limit job possibilities. But even when unemployment stats are high, defining your ideal situation helps to focus your job search.&nbsp;</p> <p>Specific areas to consider include:</p> <ul> <li>Work content and day-to-day responsibilities<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Expertise you hope to contribute<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Duties you&rsquo;d like to avoid<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Organization size, structure, and style</li> </ul> <p>Using this information, communicate career goals to your network as well as human resources managers and hiring managers.</p> <h3>2. Updating Your LinkedIn Profile</h3> <p>Many job seekers focus on polishing their resumés and cleaning up their Facebook walls, but neglect their LinkedIn profiles. Remember to do the following:</p> <ul> <li>Upload a recent, professional image of yourself<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Freshen your experience to include projects and accountabilities relevant to your job search<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Build and expand your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/your-31-hidden-networks-that-can-help-you-land-jobs">network</a><br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Request and offer recommendations<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>List <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/standout-stuff-to-put-on-your-resume">stand-out stuff</a> about yourself to infuse your personality and drive for excellence into your professional online presence</li> </ul> <p>Your LinkedIn listing validates your professional experiences through connections with and recommendations from your bosses, colleagues, customers, vendors, and other relationships.</p> <h3>3. Researching Workplace Culture</h3> <p>Job seekers often fail to investigate the workplace style of potential employers. But having the right cultural fit is a key factor in your appeal as a job candidate.</p> <p>Research organizational practices and ways of thinking in these and other areas:</p> <ul> <li>Encouragement of innovation and risk taking<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Expectations for workloads and extended workdays<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Commitment to employee development in terms of training, assignments, and promotions<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Decision-making styles, from empowering independent action to requiring multiple layers of approvals</li> </ul> <p>Talk with friends and acquaintances about their experiences with the company. Read news accounts. Look at job descriptions on your connections&rsquo; LinkedIn profiles. Check out employee reviews at career sites such as <a href="http://www.glassdoor.com/index.htm">Glassdoor</a>.&nbsp;</p> <p>Determine if a potential employer is a good match with your professional values and approach to getting things done. Then, use this information to articulate why you are a great candidate for the company during interviews with human resources staff, hiring managers, and potential colleagues.</p> <h3>4. Learning About Interviewers</h3> <p>In the excitement of winning an interview, job seekers often forget to gather pertinent information about those who are interviewing them. You may be reluctant, but asking questions often places you in a positive light with hiring decision-makers. Plus, you gather valuable information for interviews and follow-up activities.</p> <p>Find out these tidbits about your interviewers:</p> <ul> <li>Names and titles<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Contact information, including email and mailing addresses<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Positions (if not clear by title), such as who represents human resources, who is the department head, and who are potential colleagues</li> </ul> <p>Learn about each interviewer&rsquo;s background by looking at her bio on the company&rsquo;s website or reviewing her LinkedIn profile, noting career progression and special interests. This information can help you understand how to frame your responses, shape questions, and manage the flow of conversation during the interview. Plus, you&rsquo;ll have the details you need to send a thank-you note.</p> <h3>5. Uncovering the Difference Between Official and Working Job Titles</h3> <p>Many job seekers do not take the time to truly understand all the terms that companies use to describe openings within their organizations. Even the most discerning person may draw incorrect or incomplete conclusions about a position based on its title and job description. What&rsquo;s crucial is grasping that there is often a gap between your understanding as a job seeker and the intent of the employer, which may have an unusual organizational structure or quirky corporate lingo.</p> <p>So don&rsquo;t rely on job titles to identify positions for which you are qualified and don&rsquo;t assume that you are ill-suited for a job based solely on the written description. Do your best to vet opportunities by researching a company, its culture, and its representatives with whom you are interviewing. When you meet with hiring decision-makers, ask clarifying questions about work content so that you can be sure you understand the requirements. Then, use this knowledge to reference professional experiences, skills, and accomplishments most relevant to the job opening.</p> <h3>6. Sending Thank-You Notes</h3> <p>Many job seekers forgo sending <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-say-thanks">thank-you notes</a> because they think that this step will not play a significant role in the hiring decision. While it&rsquo;s true that many companies call back candidates before a message can be composed and delivered, proper follow up contributes to success in a job search.</p> <p>Differentiate yourself from other candidates by thanking your interviewers. Craft a thank-you note that conveys your appreciation and solidifies your position as a strong candidate. In your written communications, reinforce the value of your capabilities and let the hiring manager know that you are truly interested in the opportunity. These messages increase the likelihood that you will receive an offer.</p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-crucial-job-searching-steps-most-people-skip" class="sharethis-link" title="6 Crucial Job Searching Steps Most People Skip" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/julie-rains">Julie Rains</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Job Hunting job interviews LinkedIn networking Wed, 21 Mar 2012 15:10:44 +0000 Julie Rains 911611 at http://www.wisebread.com Your 31 Hidden Networks That Can Help You Land Jobs http://www.wisebread.com/your-31-hidden-networks-that-can-help-you-land-jobs <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/your-31-hidden-networks-that-can-help-you-land-jobs" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/myster-network.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>This series is brought to you by </em><a href="http://ad.doubleclick.net/clk;253156195;77023193;i"><em>TurboTax Federal Free Edition</em></a><em>.</em></p> <p>As a job hunter, you know that networking is often essential to finding a new position. You may have already called your old boss or sent your résumé to the neighbor who is a human resources manager.</p> <p>But you know more people than you realize. Tap your hidden network of contacts, which can help you on the path to landing a great position in many ways:</p> <ul type="disc"> <li>Alert you to job openings or potential opportunities</li> <li>Explain areas of responsibility and duties associated with various functions and job titles, and how these fit within the organizational structure</li> <li>Provide recommendations, either on paper or via LinkedIn</li> <li>Enlighten you on attributes desired by the hiring manager and team members</li> <li>Offer you a position or introduce you to someone who can</li> <li>Advise on how to navigate the candidate screening and selection process.</li> </ul> <p>Take a moment to consider who you know in these networks:<b><i><br /> </i></b></p> <h3>School Contacts</h3> <p>Your initial list of school contacts will most likely include high school and college buddies, sorority sisters or fraternity brothers, and members of your alumni association. That&rsquo;s a great start but there are more who fall into these categories:&nbsp;</p> <ol start="1" type="1"> <li>Classmates in leadership development schools and colleagues in training programs for professional and industry designations</li> </ol> <ol start="2" type="1"> <li>Former teachers, counselors, advisors, and coaches</li> </ol> <ol start="3" type="1"> <li>Past professors, particularly those who consult with corporations as well as those who serve on advisory boards for entrepreneurial ventures and non-profits</li> </ol> <ol start="4" type="1"> <li>Community college instructors, including those who hold full-time positions at area businesses or freelance in their specialty areas</li> </ol> <ol start="5" type="1"> <li>Parents of your child&rsquo;s classmates, whom you may encounter at school events or serve with on volunteer committees</li> </ol> <ol start="6" type="1"> <li>College or school-specific groups within the university system (for example, there are networking opportunities with the University Alumni Association <i>and</i> Kenan-Flagler School of Business at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)</li> </ol> <ol start="7" type="1"> <li>Alumni chapters that meet largely for social interaction&nbsp; &nbsp;</li> </ol> <ol start="8" type="1"> <li>LinkedIn groups associated with your college or university</li> </ol> <ol start="9" type="1"> <li>Athletic and band booster clubs<b><i><br /> </i></b></li> </ol> <h3>Community Groups</h3> <p>If you are involved in a faith community, you have probably called those you see on weekly basis. You may also network with people in your local civic or chamber groups.</p> <p>However, there are many people in community-based groups that you meet with face-to-face on a regular basis but you haven&rsquo;t considered as part of your network. By serving (or sweating) side by side, they may know much about your work ethic, value, and dedication to teamwork as well as your ability to lead meetings, recruit and organize volunteers, coordinate special events, etc. Think of people such as:</p> <ol start="10" type="1"> <li>Volunteers with outreach ministries, either directly associated with your church or comprised of people from many churches in the wider community</li> </ol> <ol start="11" type="1"> <li>Cycling, running, and triathlon club members &nbsp;</li> </ol> <ol start="12" type="1"> <li>Members of your community pool and tennis club, fitness facility, or local &ldquo;Y&rdquo;&nbsp;</li> </ol> <ol start="13" type="1"> <li>Fellow artists or performers associated with arts associations, theater groups, or dance troupes&nbsp;</li> </ol> <ol start="14" type="1"> <li>Members of affinity groups such as book clubs</li> </ol> <ol start="15" type="1"> <li>Parent volunteers associated with scouting groups and youth athletic teams<b><i><br /> </i></b></li> </ol> <h3>Service Providers</h3> <p>You might have gotten in touch with a corporate recruiter or your career-services provider as soon as you realized that you needed to find a new place of employment. Other service-oriented people may be able to help also, such as:</p> <ol start="16" type="1"> <li>Fellow job hunters and organizers associated with community job-search support groups</li> </ol> <ol start="17" type="1"> <li>Your accountant and attorney, who may know business owners and hiring decision-makers</li> </ol> <ol start="18" type="1"> <li>Your insurance agent, who likely comes into contact with thousands of people each year</li> </ol> <ol start="19" type="1"> <li>Your barber, dry cleaner, bike mechanic, etc. who also know a lot of people<b><br /> </b></li> </ol> <h3>Work Networks</h3> <p>Naturally you think of your old boss or the owner of the company where you worked. Others from your past work experiences include: &nbsp;</p> <ol start="20" type="1"> <li>Customers, who can attest to your excellent service and industry knowledge</li> </ol> <ol start="21" type="1"> <li>Vendors, who are familiar with how you conduct business</li> </ol> <ol start="22" type="1"> <li>Colleagues, who may have matured and grown professionally since you last worked together</li> </ol> <ol start="23" type="1"> <li>The children or the parents of coworkers (depending on your age, those who are a generation younger or older may be excellent contacts within your hidden network)</li> </ol> <ol start="24" type="1"> <li>People you met through trade associations and professional groups<b><i><br /> </i></b></li> </ol> <h3>Online Contacts</h3> <p>Of course, you think of your direct LinkedIn connections and perhaps your extended network (mine contains more than 3 million people), but consider these also:&nbsp;</p> <ol start="25" type="1"> <li>Facebook friends</li> </ol> <ol start="26" type="1"> <li>Those in your Google+ Circles</li> </ol> <ol start="27" type="1"> <li>Twitter followers</li> </ol> <ol start="28" type="1"> <li>Online forum leaders and members with whom you interact on a regular basis</li> </ol> <h3>Friends, Relatives, and Neighbors</h3> <p>You have probably let your circle of friends, family members, and next-door neighbors know about your job search. But consider those whom you&rsquo;ve known for a while but may not see quite as often:</p> <ol start="29" type="1"> <li>Friends of friends, including those who may be more connected than you realize because their volunteer activities, front-line positions, or avocations puts them in contact with community or business leaders</li> </ol> <ol start="30" type="1"> <li>Far-flung relatives or those outside of your immediate family, whom you see infrequently but predictably at family reunions and weddings</li> </ol> <ol start="31" type="1"> <li>Current neighbors, including those in your neighborhood association, plus those from childhood and early adult years and the now-grown children of your neighbors.</li> </ol> <p><i>Are there hidden networks that you have tapped to help you land a job? Share in the comments.&nbsp;</i></p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/your-31-hidden-networks-that-can-help-you-land-jobs" class="sharethis-link" title="Your 31 Hidden Networks That Can Help You Land Jobs" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/julie-rains">Julie Rains</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Job Hunting changing job job search networking Mon, 13 Feb 2012 19:00:35 +0000 Julie Rains 892651 at http://www.wisebread.com Job Search Tips That Will Get You a Job in 2012 http://www.wisebread.com/job-search-tips-that-will-get-you-a-job-in-2012 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/job-search-tips-that-will-get-you-a-job-in-2012" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/office_job_2.jpg" alt="Woman at an office job" title="Woman at an office job" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Unemployment has dipped to 8.6%, but there are still quite a number of people who are searching for jobs. Even among my circle of friends, I see that some of them are still facing layoffs or are struggling to find jobs. There really is a trick to job hunting, and interviewing is a skill you can pick up. Make sure you're not doing the wrong things by reading a roundup of the best job search tips we've featured in the past, and use those to get your dream job in 2012!</p> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Find-Unlisted-Jobs-12707416">RELATED: How to&nbsp;Get Jobs You Didn't Know Existed</a></p> <h3>Use Google Doc Templates</h3> <p>If you're job hunting, the <a href="https://docs.google.com/templates?pli=1">Google Doc Templates</a> gallery will be your BFF. You can download relevant templates and customize them to use for your application or your prep process. Here are a couple templates you might find helpful:</p> <ul> <li><a target="_blank" href="https://docs.google.com/previewtemplate?id=134jFx2NOjG_oMkbL3pFijooU-CkNoGpjyJEYBYWsxB8&amp;mode=public">Modern Résumé</a>: A very modern and clean looking résumé that has a simple design. It doesn't look too cluttered up and has just the right professional touch. <br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a target="_blank" href="https://docs.google.com/previewtemplate?id=0As3tAuweYU9QcHlVM3hrY2tocEkyY3FvbXhoY0NBWFE&amp;mode=public">To-Do List</a>: When you're job hunting, you're going to have a never-ending to-do list for things like reaching out to contacts, going to events, sending résumés to a certain company. Keep your job search tasks organized in this Google template. <br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a target="_blank" href="https://docs.google.com/previewtemplate?id=0Aako7Xi-nxN1ZGc0OHpqNXpfMTBmc2Q2aDZnZg&amp;mode=public&amp;pli=1">Job Interview One-Sheeter</a>: This is a great, great interview tool that will help you prepare. It's nice to have all your points located on a single sheet of paper so you can make sure you're covering all your bases. It's also handy because you can print it out and quickly look over for a refresher before an interview. <br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a target="_blank" href="https://docs.google.com/previewtemplate?id=0Aqko7Xi-nxN1dFFudFhvU0xKWE9fVHhnVjVMaFpmWUE&amp;mode=public">Networking Tracker</a>: To keep track of the many people you'll come in contact with while networking for a job, use this sheet to stay on top of things. Note: Although the preview doesn't seem to be working, the template still downloads and works fine.</li> </ul> <h3>Send a Thank You Letter</h3> <p>It's very important to follow up after a job interview, because even if you think the interview went badly, keeping in touch may improve the interviewer's perception of you. It reflects persistence, and it's also polite to thank the hiring manager after the interview. Remember to also send the note within two days of the interview; although, if you've passed the two-day mark, a late response is better than no response.</p> <p>There is such a thing as being too pushy, so keep it light, cheery, and professional. Here is a sample of the kind of email you should send:</p> <blockquote><p>Dear Interviewer,</p> <p>It was great meeting you today, and I appreciate you taking the time to interview me. I'm excited to be considered for the (name the position) as well as all of the opportunities the company presents. I had a good time discussing my passion of (insert what you're passionate about) and really enjoyed learning more about (insert what new tidbit you learned about the company).</p> <p>Thank you for your consideration, and I look forward to following up with you.</p> <p>Best,</p> <p>Interviewee</p> </blockquote> <h3>Ask the Right Questions</h3> <p>A job interview is incomplete without a question and answer session that has you doing the asking. You should be prepared with relevant questions about the company, the job at hand, and your potential future with the organization. Keep your interview on the right track and your foot out of your mouth by asking questions the right way.</p> <p><strong>Don't Seem Entitled</strong></p> <ul> <li>Don't Ask: How long before I get a promotion?</li> <li>Do Ask: What are the opportunities for advancement, and do you typically promote from within?</li> </ul> <p><strong>Don't Make Your Interviewer Uncomfortable</strong></p> <ul> <li>Don't Ask: Is there anything about me that would prevent me from getting this job?</li> <li>Do Ask: What qualifications are you looking for in the person who fills this job?</li> </ul> <p><strong>Don't Be a Gossip</strong></p> <ul> <li>Don't Ask: I heard the CEO was involved in scandalous activity; is that true?</li> <li>Do Ask: While researching your firm I learned that the company recently [fill in the blank]. Can you tell me a little bit more about this development?</li> </ul> <p><strong>Don't Get Bogged Down in Details</strong></p> <ul> <li>Don't Ask: Can you break down my day in terms of hours spent doing A, B, C, D, etc.?</li> <li>Do Ask: Can you tell me what my average day would be like?</li> </ul> <p><strong>Don't Seem Greedy</strong></p> <ul> <li>Don't Ask: What kinds of perks do you get around here?</li> <li>Do Ask: What do you enjoy most about working here?</li> </ul> <p><strong>Don't Focus on the Negative</strong></p> <ul> <li>Don't Ask: What's the worst part about this job?</li> <li>Do Ask: Given my background and experience, what do you think will be the greatest challenge for me in the beginning?</li> </ul> <p><strong>Don't Ask Frivolous Questions</strong></p> <ul> <li>Don't Ask: How many other applicants are you interviewing?</li> <li>Do Ask: How soon do you expect to make a decision?</li> </ul> <h3>Bring the Right Items</h3> <p>Job hunting is a process more people are having to go through as companies undergo big layoffs in the face of a challenged economy. It's competitive out there and the little details matter more with crowded applicant pools. Make your case stronger by showing up prepared &mdash; check for these five items before you head out the door.</p> <p><strong>Interviewer / Company Phone Number</strong></p> <p>Even if you've allowed plenty of time for traffic the unexpected can always happen, like an accident that prevents you from getting to your interview on time. Have the phone number handy so you can call and discuss timing, and possibly reschedule your interview over the phone for another time.</p> <p><strong>Reference Sheet</strong></p> <p>Bring a sheet separate from your résumé that lists your professional references. It's usually a good sign when the interviewer asks for references, so eliminate any hesitation by providing your reference list on the spot.</p> <p><strong>Résumé</strong></p> <p>Print several out on nice paper and carry them with you in the same portfolio where you keep the reference sheet. Interviewers are usually prepared with their own printed version, but what if the printer ran out of ink just before you arrived? Eliminate hassle by supplying a copy of your own.</p> <p><strong>Notebook With Prepared Questions</strong></p> <p>It is inevitable the interviewer will ask if you have any questions for her. As long as you've remembered to bring the notebook where you outlined prepared questions, this part of the interview will be a breeze.</p> <p><strong>A Pen That Works</strong></p> <p>You'll need something to write down notes during your interview, for your own information and if there's anything that triggers questions you may want to save for the end. Just be sure to scribble before you leave the house so you're not stuck with a useless pen.</p> <h3>Have the Six Degrees Mentality</h3> <p>When you're slogging through those job applications and waiting anxiously by your phone, you must be thinking, there's got to be an easier way to do this. There is &mdash; having the six degrees separation mentality will help make the job hunting process a lot smoother. It's the theory that everyone in the world is connected to each other within six steps, so this means that if there's someone you're trying to meet, you're connected to him somehow, perhaps through a friend of a friend.</p> <p>The six degrees separation mindset helps when you're job hunting, because you'll know that somewhere, somehow, someone will be able to make introductions for you and help you get your dream job. All you need to do is to tap into your friend network and try to find someone who works in the industry or company where you'd love to be. A great way to figure out your connections is LinkedIn, because the social network maps out all your professional relationships for you. But the way that seems to help the most (at least when I was job hunting), is to ask everyone around if they know of anyone at the company or industry you are interested. Just start asking today, you'll be surprised at how small the world really is.</p> <h3>Fill in Résumé Gaps</h3> <p>You're looking for a job, but it's taking a while, and the gap in your résumé seems to be growing bigger as time passes. Your situation is pretty understandable, as this is a tough economy, so don't feel insecure about it. What you can do to make yourself stand out as an excellent job candidate is to prove that you've been making good use of your time. Here are some things you can do to fill the résumé gaps:</p> <p><strong>Volunteer</strong></p> <p>Don't shy away from stating your volunteer activities on your résumé, whether it be for a nonprofit for a cause you love or doing some pro <a target="_blank" href="http://www.popsugar.com/Bono" title="Latest photos and news for Bono">bono</a> work in your field. Both kinds of volunteer work make for great learning experiences.</p> <p><strong>Professional Organizations</strong></p> <p>Being part of an organization related to your field will help your résumé gap as well as aid you in your networking. Try to lobby for a position at a professional organization, and participate in activities that will give you a lot of face time with people.</p> <p><strong>Temping</strong></p> <p>We've given some tips on <a target="_blank" href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-List-Temp-Jobs-Resume-13001451">listing your temp jobs</a> on your résumé. But do consider temping while you're looking for a job; it's a great way to earn cash, and maybe even a chance for you to get a foot in the company you're keen on working for.</p> <p><strong>Blogging</strong></p> <p>Blogging is a great way to release your frustrations and can be an interesting detail to put on your résumé. To make it more relevant, it would be great if you can blog about something in your field. You can also polish your web design skills so your employer knows that you have a lot of talent up your sleeve!</p> <p><strong>Classes</strong></p> <p>Taking some courses at a local college is a good way to learn new skills or polish up old ones, which will make you a more valuable job candidate. It will also show that you're really serious about continuously improving yourself.</p> <p><strong>Freelance</strong></p> <p>Start freelancing or even start your own company while you're out there looking for jobs. A lot of people start their own small business as a way to make extra cash, and even if it isn't related to your field, it shows a lot of initiative and creativity.</p> <h3>Organize Your Job Search in a Simple Way</h3> <p>Shooting out so many job applications that you're not spending time catering your résumé and cover letter to each position is simply counterproductive. However, an efficient job search includes dedicating several hours each day to the employment cause, and ideally this means applying for a handful of jobs each day. Keep track of your daily job search by creating log. Maintain a spreadsheet with the following details and update it at the end of each day.</p> <ul> <li>Applications sent &mdash; name of positions and companies.</li> <li>Where you found the job.</li> <li>Follow-up status.</li> <li>A section listing the job sites you visited that day.</li> </ul> <p>Organizing your job search will ensure that none of your efforts slip through the cracks, and looking at your full spreadsheet will make you feel accomplished.</p> <h3>Show You Care About the Company</h3> <p>When you're in an interview, try your best to show that you care about the company and how you want to help it grow. Asking questions about promotions or continuously focusing on what you can get out of this job position may be off-putting to your interviewer. Questions about career progression should be asked after you get the job, and after you've been at the job for a good while. The best time to address the topic of promotion is usually during a performance review.</p> <p>Remember, your interviewer has probably talked to a ton of job candidates, which means she pretty much knows what you're thinking when you ask questions with promotions in mind. She will know why you're asking her how long she's been at her position and how long it took for her to move up. Don't get me wrong, it's OK to bring it up briefly and with finesse, but you need to be really careful about how you phrase it. Be sure not to belabor the point and put less emphasis on what's in it for you, and more on what you can do for the company.</p> <h3>Become a Networking Whiz</h3> <p>There really is an art to networking, and don't worry if your efforts haven't been paying off &mdash; workin' your contacts is a skill that can be learned. In this poor job market, people might be a little jaded about strangers reaching out to them for a job, so make sure you're being smart about your approach. Here are some things to start doing in order to become a networking whiz:</p> <p><strong>Build Up a Relationship Before You Ask for Help</strong></p> <p>Don't get to know a person because you want to ask them for a job, work on building a relationship with the future possibilities in mind. And even if you don't get a job, perhaps your contact will be able to give you valuable career advice or maybe even make the right introductions. This is also known as having &quot;a knack for spotting future opportunities,&quot; Jonathan Kriendler, the <a target="_blank" href="http://management.fortune.cnn.com/2011/07/01/network-without-wearing-out-your-welcome/">founder of an online career management tools site</a>, says. &quot;...companies are like living organisms. Things change constantly. People retire or quit and new projects get launched, so new opportunities are always on the horizon...by putting yourself ahead of the curve, you find out about them in advance rather than after the fact.&quot;</p> <p><strong>Remember Details </strong></p> <p>Take note of conversations you've had with this person so you'll be able to reference back to them later.</p> <p><strong>Listen and Learn</strong></p> <p>Listen &quot;twice as much as you talk.&quot; If you're doing more listening than talking, you'll be able to recognize trends and take advantage of them as they're happening or even before they take off.</p> <p><strong>Share Your Knowledge</strong></p> <p>Go online and share your expertise with people. Build your name and reputation so others maybe start reaching out to you because of your visibility on the web. Answer questions on LinkedIn groups or check out Quora, which is sort of like a more professional version of Yahoo! answers.</p> <h3>Clean Your Social Media History</h3> <p>If you need a reason to watch what you tweet and Facebook, know that potential employers have their eye on everything you've ever published on social media platforms. Initially, we assumed people only had to be wary of their recent history, but this firms actually have the ability to <a target="_blank" href="http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/21/technology/social-media-history-becomes-a-new-job-hurdle.html?src=recg">get a record of your whole social media history</a>, which includes things you've posted on Craigslist, image-sharing sites, and YouTube.</p> <p>It's getting easier for firms to look up your history thanks to startups, which do the searching for them. There's one called <a target="_blank" href="http://www.socialintelligencehr.com/home">Social Intelligence</a> that neatly compiles a report of all your Internet activity in the last seven years and searches for things like &quot;online evidence of racist remarks; references to drugs; sexually explicit photos, text messages or videos; flagrant displays of weapons or bombs and clearly identifiable violent activity.&quot;</p> <p>Here's how to make sure your records will be squeaky clean.</p> <p><strong>Google Yourself</strong></p> <p>Thoroughly Google yourself to see what online footprints you've left on the web. Use combinations of your name and add keywords such as the companies you've worked for or the schools you attended.</p> <p><strong>Make a List of Emails and Accounts</strong></p> <p>You may have forgotten about old emails you had way back when. Make a list of the emails and try to access them to see if there are any websites or accounts for you to check up on. Then make a list of accounts, community boards, websites you've visited and participated in. For example, is there an old Xanga or Friendster account that you've forgotten about? Have you been a little loose-lipped on your Reddit account? Check them out to make sure that there aren't any red flags, or even delete them if you don't feel comfortable with the accounts.</p> <p><strong>Play Around With Privacy Settings</strong></p> <p>Consider making your Twitter private and play around with <a target="_blank" href="http://www.geeksugar.com/5-Things-Know-About-Facebook-Privacy-Controls-8576413">privacy settings on Facebook </a>so that users who are not your friends can only see very basic information, such as your name and your gender. Or, you can even make yourself unsearchable if you click on certain options. Remember to be cautious with new social media sites such as Google+ and make sure you're fully aware of their privacy settings before sharing too much on the platform.</p> <p><strong>Don't Put Up Anything Racy or Offensive</strong></p> <p>The best way to keep your record clean is to <em>be</em> clean on the Internet. Keep personal thoughts, pictures, and videos to yourself and don't write anything too controversial if you don't want it coming back to haunt you.</p> <h3>Make the Right Moves to Work in Your Dream City</h3> <p>You might dream of packing your bags and running off to make it big in New York City, but the fact of the matter is, it's extremely hard to get a call back from an employer if you don't live the same city. To raise your chances of succeeding, here are some things you should do:</p> <p><strong>Move There</strong></p> <p>The best way to find a job in the city you'd love to work in is to be on the ground, networking, and interviewing in the city itself. That will save you plenty of awkward questions about where you're actually living. However, this option is not ideal for everyone since it's going to be hard to cover the cost of moving and living expenses when you're not making any income. Although this is probably your best bet for getting a job in the city you want, it's also the most costly.</p> <p><strong>Find a Company Contact</strong></p> <p>Since your location is working against you, you need an extra edge to get an &quot;in&quot; at the company. Network through your existing contacts or through networking sites like LinkedIn and do your best to find an employee or a friend who knows someone at the company. It'll definitely increase your chances of scoring an interview despite your zip code.</p> <p><strong>Borrow an Address</strong></p> <p>Approach a friend and ask her if you can borrow her address for your résumé. I've heard from several friends that they only started hearing back from employers when they used a local address. Try not to make it a focal point during an interview, and remember if it comes up, be honest about where you live, and voice your plans to relocate.</p> <p><strong>Get a Google Voice Number</strong></p> <p>Sign up for a Google Voice phone number that has a local number so that you can list that on your résumé.</p> <p><strong>Enlist the Help of a Local Recruiter</strong></p> <p>Contact a local recruiter who specializes in your industry and use their services to help find you a job in that city.</p> <h3>Negotiate Your Starting Salary</h3> <p>If you're job-hunting, don't start sweating when an interviewer asks how much you would like to get paid. Be aware that salary talk might come up during your interview, so make sure you're prepared. Just keep these five tips from Jim Hopkinson, author of <a rel="nofollow" target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/Salary-Tutor-Negotiation-Secrets-Taught/dp/1455503274/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1313543207&amp;sr=8-1"><em>Salary Tutor: Learn the Salary Negotiation Secrets No One Ever Taught You</em></a>, in mind, and you're good to go!</p> <ul> <li>&quot;Defer all specific salary talk until you know that they want you for the job. That means evading salary questions on job applications (write &ldquo;negotiable&rdquo;) and during initial screening interviews (stress the need to learn more about the position first).&quot; <br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>&quot;As a job seeker, you should never be the person who brings up salary first.&quot; <br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>&quot;Once the salary question does come up, use the 'Right Back at Ya' method to put the ball back in their court.&quot; <br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>&quot;Use effective pauses in the conversation, as people tend to speak to fill the silence and may divulge important information in the process.&quot; <br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>&quot;There is more to a job than just salary. Remember that other benefits may also be negotiable &mdash; a better title, more vacation, flextime, bonuses, education reimbursement, and paid travel to conferences.&quot;</li> </ul> <p>Remember, salary negotiation at the start of your new job is very important, because it will affect your future earnings. One of the main reasons why women earn less than men is because they don't negotiate at the start of their new job. Keep these tips in mind when you're interviewing!</p> <h3>Improve Your Résumé</h3> <p>Your résumé might be a single piece of paper, but that document is an extension of you. It's one of the first ways employers evaluate your potential to fill an open position, so even if you're confident in your interview abilities, you won't get an invitation to show them off unless your résumé is compelling. Here are some ways to improve it.</p> <p><strong>Make It Current</strong></p> <p>Before you make any other changes to your existing résumé, add any accomplishments you've scored recently. You'd be selling yourself short to leave out anything important, so stay on top of the game by updating your résumé on a regular basis.</p> <p><strong>Delete What's Irrelevant</strong></p> <p>Somewhere down the road, someone told us that we should include fluffy language in our résumés. Things like, &quot;good communication skills and multitasker,&quot; are just taking up space and won't mean anything to the person reading it. These qualities should speak for themselves through the professional experience you spelled out in your cover letter and résumé.</p> <p><strong>Organize</strong></p> <p>It's been said that hiring managers spend less than a minute to make a judgment about your résumé. Get them to absorb as much information about you in a short time by using an easy-to-read format. You don't need fancy design skills; you just need to know how to use bullet points for separating thoughts and clear headers to announce distinct sections.</p> <p><strong>Self-Edit</strong></p> <p>If any of your bullet points require multiple breaths to read aloud or contain sentences within, you have a pretty good indication that you're being too wordy. Ask yourself what the main point is for each of your bullets and write down your immediate answer. Some things might need to be condensed, while others might just require another bullet point.</p> <p><strong>Be Verb-Smart</strong></p> <p>Think nothing is worse than a spelling error? I'd argue that using incorrect tenses is just as bad and tells your interviewer the same thing &mdash; that you're sloppy. Triple check that each of your points begins with a verb in its proper tense (i.e., use current tense for your current job or activities and past tense for your previous positions).</p> <p><strong>Showcase Your Experience</strong></p> <p>There comes a time in a young professional's life when she has enough experience to make it the first thing a recruiter sees on her résumé. Education is still important, but it's not as important as your professional experience after you've spent some time in the real working world. After you've landed your first job after college, it's time to push the education section below experience (this is true in most professions but can vary for specific careers).</p> <p>Discover more résumé improvements <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Improve-Your-Resume-6229164?page=0,0,0#6">here</a>.</p> <h3>Find Out Why You Didn't Get the Job</h3> <p>So you got rejected from a job, but you got an email from your interviewer telling you that you were great, they loved your résumé and interview answers, and think you're a perfect match for their company, but it's just that they can't find the right position for you. However, they'll keep you in mind for the future. Maybe they even called you to tell you that. They seemed so sincere and actually made the effort to tell you, so they must be telling the truth right? Well, there's a chance that it might be the case, but sometimes they are just trying to soften the blow. After all, the firm can't tell you the real reason for not hiring you because the company may get into legal trouble. The risk for them to tell you why you lost out to another candidate is great &mdash; you might see it as discrimination.</p> <p>The best way to find out why you didn't get the job is to do some mock interviewing with your friends or professional contacts. If you're getting all positive feedback and aren't learning anything new, perhaps you need to pick different people to practice with. Try prepping with your best friends, because good pals don't shy away from telling you the truth if it'll help you.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Make this year the year when you get a new job — or even your dream job — with this comprehensive collection of suggestions, resources, and more. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p style="text-align:center;"><a style="border:none;" href="http://www.savvysugar.com"><img alt="" src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u4/savvysugar-300-small.jpg" /></a></p> <p><em>This is a guest contribution from our friends at </em><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/"><em>SavvySugar</em></a><em>. Check out more useful articles from this partner:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/7-Job-Hunting-Sins-Avoid-5657179">7 Job Hunting Sins to&nbsp;Avoid</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Interview-Preparation-Tips-Time-Line-20892485">10 Essential Steps to Take Before a Job Interview<br /> </a></li> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Anonymous-LinkedIn-20683027">How to Stay Invisible When&nbsp;You're Browsing LinkedIn</a></li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/popsugar-smart-living">POPSUGAR Smart Living</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Job Hunting job interviews networking new job resumes Thu, 19 Jan 2012 11:36:15 +0000 POPSUGAR Smart Living 870809 at http://www.wisebread.com 3 Simple Ways Small Business Can Maximize Twitter http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/3-simple-ways-small-business-can-maximize-twitter <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.openforum.com/articles/3-ways-small-businesses-can-maximize-twitter" target="_blank">http://www.openforum.com/articles/3-ways-small-businesses-can-maximize-twitter</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/3-simple-ways-small-business-can-maximize-twitter" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000018064981Small.jpg" alt="Woman at laptop" title="Woman at laptop" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/3-simple-ways-small-business-can-maximize-twitter" class="sharethis-link" title="3 Simple Ways Small Business Can Maximize Twitter" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><p>By now you've probably read, &quot;Your business needs to be on <a href="http://twitter.com/" target="_blank">Twitter</a>!&quot; in one small business marketing publication or another. But you may be asking yourself, &quot;How will Twitter help me improve my local small business?&quot;</p> <p>When we think of Twitter, we often think of celebrities, the media, and businesses with a national brand (and national customers). And Twitter probably makes sense to you in those instances.</p> <p>But maybe you're wondering how a local caterer, landscaper, or accounting firm can <a href="http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/money/article/75-top-twitter-tips-from-todays-small-business-moms-1" target="_blank">use Twitter to increase business</a> and referrals on a local level.</p> <p><b>1. Build Relationships First, Business Second</b></p> <p>Remember that Twitter is best used as a networking tool (and later a referral tool) for locally based businesses&mdash;not a sales pitch tool. You wouldn't walk into your local Chamber of Commerce meeting shouting your latest special over and over again every time someone walked up to you and said hello. And you shouldn't do it on Twitter either. Now that's not saying that you should never mention your business, but it shouldn't be more than a single digit percentage of your tweets.</p> <p>The point of Twitter is to network and create relationships like you would in real life. As a small business owner, creating real relationships through Twitter will often lead to more referrals and potential business than tweeting your latest special ever could.</p> <p>Need an example? Someone who follows <a href="http://twitter.com/sugarrae" target="_blank">me</a> on Twitter began conversing with me about a movie we both liked after I tweeted about it. We later found out that we also had a love of football in common. After multiple times of conversing back and forth, I ended up following the person back. Occasionally this person made mention that they owned a local fitness studio. About three months ago, a person I know in that locale tweeted saying they needed to get in shape. I tweeted back that so and so had a fitness studio where they lived and they should check it out. They did and ended up purchasing a membership.</p> <p>That's the potential for business generation and referral power by creating real relationships on Twitter.</p> <p><b>2. Make Local Connections</b></p> <p>So now that you know how Twitter can help you generate business and referrals, how do you find your local community on Twitter? A site called <a href="http://tweet.grader.com/" target="_blank">Twitter Grader</a> has made it a pretty easy process.</p> <p>If you're in a big metro locale, you'll likely find your city in the &quot;<a href="http://tweet.grader.com/top/cities" target="_blank">top cities</a>&quot; list. Let's say you live in San Diego. Click on San Diego from the top cities list and you'll quickly be given a list of the <a href="http://tweet.grader.com/location/?Location=San+Diego%2C+CA%2C+United+States" target="_blank">top 50 Twitter users</a> listing San Diego as their location in the Twitter bio.</p> <p>But what if you don't live in one of the &quot;top cities&quot; cited on Twitter Grader? Never fear. You can click on any top city link and find the locals in your area by performing a new search at the top of that page for your own location. Say you're on the San Diego page. Simply change out the &quot;San Diego, CA, United States&quot; in the search box at the top of the page with &quot;Your City, Your State, Your Country&quot; and click &quot;Go&quot; and you'll be presented with a listing of the top users in that city.</p> <p>Look at the bios of the users in your city and check out what they're tweeting about. Follow those you think you can find something in common with and/or that you'd be interested in learning more about.</p> <p>Remember that your goal is not to advertise your services to these people but rather to form local connections much like you would at a Chamber of Commerce meeting. I typically tell people to follow those you'd be interested in having coffee with if Twitter were &quot;real life&quot;.</p> <p>You can repeat this process for every city you can think of that your local business serves.</p> <p><b>3. Find Media Contacts</b></p> <p>Twitter is not only great for creating a referral network, but it can also be a great tool for gaining traditional media exposure for your business. Thousands upon thousands of journalists use Twitter. Much like you can seek out your local community on Twitter, you can also seek out the media that are local to you and/or specific to your niche as well. And a site named <a href="http://muckrack.com/" target="_blank">MuckRack</a> makes it incredibly easy.</p> <p>MuckRack tracks the accounts of thousands of journalists on Twitter and various other social media networks. You can view their <a href="http://muckrack.com/publications" target="_blank">publications list</a> to find the Twitter accounts of all the reporters at specific publications such as <a href="http://muckrack.com/directory/charlotteobserver">The Charlotte Observer</a>.</p> <p>The <a href="http://muckrack.com/plans" target="_blank">paid version of MuckRack</a> also allows you to search by &quot;beats&quot; and topics to help you find reporters specific to your niche. While the pricing (starting at $99 per month) may be a bit hefty for many small business budgets, there is no minimum term or contract. So you can always sign up for one month and get as much &quot;advanced information&quot; as you can during that time.</p> <p>As with making local contacts, the point of identifying these journalists is to attempt to create relationships with them and get on their radar long before you have a story idea to pitch or potentially offer up your expertise for their latest story.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/rae-hoffman-dolan">Rae Hoffman-Dolan</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Small Business Resource Center marketing networking small business social media twitter twitter strategy Thu, 05 Jan 2012 18:23:29 +0000 Rae Hoffman-Dolan 844412 at http://www.wisebread.com