4 ways to protect your personal brand from holiday mishaps

Posted by Amanda Augustine

December 18, 2012 @ 02:00 AM

Plan ahead to save face during corporate events.

Holiday Parties

There are tons of articles out there warning you to be on your best behavior during holiday events, but still, many find themselves the butt of their colleagues’ jokes the next day. I don’t know what it is about holiday parties, but many think it gives them a license to abandon all the rules and let loose, regardless of the consequences.

I’ve seen my share of poor holiday performances over the years and have learned a lesson or two along the way. The bottom line: there’s never a good reason to behave badly at a corporate event – during the holidays or otherwise. Not only are you damaging your personal brand, but you could be sabotaging your potential advancement at the organization.

Even if you are counting down the days till bonuses are delivered so you can quit, don’t burn any bridges that could lead to recommendations, references, or even job leads later in your career. No one wants to stick their neck out for the guy who ends up in a sit-down with HR the morning after a holiday party. Here are four tips to help you avoid mishaps at the company party:

Topics: Ask Amanda, Networking, Personal Branding, Professional Development

How to pitch your value: Dissecting the elevator pitch

Posted by Amanda Augustine

November 14, 2012 @ 02:00 AM

Develop a strong elevator pitch that highlights your key skill sets, passions, and job goals.

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Q: How do you implement the correct pitch with the right words that describe me and my skills?  - Gregory R. 

A: When you think about it, an elevator pitch is just one of the many methods you’ll use to communicate your personal brand to a potential employer.

As a job seeker, you instantly become a sales and marketing professional. You are now in the business of marketing your skills and expertise to people connected to your target job. Your messaging needs to be consistent across all of your branding channels, your resumecover letter, and online profiles; what you say when networking; and how you respond to questions in an interview

By taking the time to go through this exercise and craft your pitch, you will be better prepared to communicate your value through every phase of the job search.

Topics: Ask Amanda, Interviewing, Networking, Personal Branding

Returning to work? How to handle the employment gap

Posted by Amanda Augustine

November 07, 2012 @ 02:00 AM

Utilize your volunteer experience to boost your resume and expand your network during the job search.

Q: I haven't worked outside the home except to volunteer for many years and can't even get an interview.  I know I can do the job but how do you get that across?  – Doreen M.

A: It can be so frustrating when you know you have value to add to a company but can’t get your foot in the door. Your story is very common with full-time parents who left the corporate world to raise their families and now want (or need) to reenter the workforce, and with those who were laid off and were forced to take on a string of lower-paying jobs to pay the bills. In these situations, I recommend doing two things:

Topics: Ask Amanda, Networking, Job Search, Resume & Cover Letters

Job search lessons learned from the politicians [Infographic]

Posted by Amanda Augustine

October 23, 2012 @ 09:00 AM

We’re a mere two weeks away from the Presidential election. You can’t turn on the TV without seeing a commercial or news report related to a national or local candidate.

Regardless of your political beliefs, running for office is very similar to running a job search, and there’s a lot we can learn from our politicians regarding how to act while campaigning. In today’s economy, skill and experience alone don’t guarantee a job – you need to be likeable. As a job candidate, you need to evaluate your own image and communication skills. Tailor your approach with prospective employers to win their votes, and ultimately, the job offer.

Here are 5 simple tips to help you run your job search like you’re running for office:

Topics: Ask Amanda, Interviewing, Networking, Job Search

In the job search & over 50: Part II of III

Posted by Amanda Augustine

October 04, 2012 @ 08:30 AM

The second article in a three-part series on conducting a job search later in life.

20130619_AskAmanda_Job_Application_Checklist_v2After you’ve determined the right job goals for your search and developed a resume to support them, it’s time to begin your job-search campaign. Below are tips on how to advertise your brand on and offline, as well as pursue opportunities through multiple channels.

PERSONAL BRANDING

In Jobvite's 2012 Social Recruiting Survey of 800+ HR professionals and recruiters in the US, it was found that 92 percent of employers and recruiters use social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn for recruiting. The survey reported that 73 percent of companies found a new hire through social media (the largest percentage – 89 percent – came through LinkedIn). This means the job seeker never even submitted an application – the employer or recruiter found them because of their online presence. In addition, 86 percent of recruiters admitted to reviewing candidates’ social network profiles – whether or not the candidates gave them that information.

Bottom line? If you’re not utilizing these channels to brand yourself and pursue opportunities, you’re missing out on a number of job leads that may not be published anywhere else. Building a strong online brand that supports your job goals, aligns with your resume and highlights your accomplishments and areas of expertise is imperative in today’s job market.

Topics: Ask Amanda, Networking, Personal Branding, Working with Recruiters, Job Application & Follow Up

How to harness the power of 3: techniques to find job opportunities

Posted by Amanda Augustine

September 26, 2012 @ 02:03 AM

Harness the 'power of three' by using multiple job-search methods to find the most job leads.

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QI'm not having much luck with the on-line application process. What else can I do to get my resume reviewed by employers? - Eunice J., Babylon, NY

A: A while ago when I wrote the post about searching for a job while employed, I mentioned that you should use multiple methods in searching for opportunities. This means: (1) applying to (and properly following up on) online job listings, (2) networking with your social and professional contacts, and (3) engaging with recruiters. By incorporating all three methods into your search strategy, you will maximize the number of leads – published and unpublished – you can pursue.

Topics: Ask Amanda, Networking, Job Search, Working with Recruiters, Job Application & Follow Up

How to network without begging

Posted by Amanda Augustine

September 11, 2012 @ 11:24 PM

Learn how to leverage your network during a job search without begging for favors. 

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Q: What is the best way to contact connections and ask them for an informational interview without making it sound like you need a favor? Most people think that the person just wants a job, so they do not reply. —M.R., Claremont, CA

A: I am a big fan of conducting informational interviews as part of any job seeker’s networking strategy, especially if you’re new to the job market or considering a transition to a new field or industry.

They are a great way to grow your connections, promote your personal brand, learn about the job market in your targeted field and uncover unpublished job leads.

However, they’re not about begging for favors. You should never go into an informational interview expecting to come away with a job lead. As the name suggests, the goal of an informational interview is to gather more information and grow your network so you’re better equipped to navigate the job market. A job lead would be a bonus.

Topics: Ask Amanda, Networking

How to sell yourself without being too “salesy”

Posted by Amanda Augustine

August 29, 2012 @ 12:00 AM

Prepare for behavioral interview questions using the STAR Method.

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Q: What are you selling when you are at an interview?  What is a single sentence that one can convey what you are selling? - Brandon L. of Daly City, CA

How do you prove yourself to be capable during a job interview?  You don't want to over sell yourself which would end up sounded like a sales pitch, but at the same time how do you get the balance to be practical but proven and determinant? - Karen I. of San Ramon, CA

A: What I really think you’re asking is how to not come off sounding like a used car salesman. You’re going to sell yourself in an interview, but no one wants to sound cheesy or cliché.

To do this right, I recommend using what is known as a “value-based” or “needs-based” selling approach. Basically this means you shouldn’t go into an interview and rattle off everything that’s great about you. You want to position your abilities as the answer to their current challenges or needs.

Topics: Ask Amanda, Interviewing, Networking, Personal Branding

Mastering the informational interview for your job search

Posted by Amanda Augustine

July 24, 2012 @ 02:29 PM

If you're exploring new industries or career paths, incorporate informational interviews into your job-search strategy.

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In this turbulent market, it seems that many people are reevaluating their careers. Some know exactly they’d like to do: they want to switch from Wall Street to Silicon Valley or transition from product marketing to sales – while others aren’t sure of the next step.

Similarly, there are a lot of recent graduates out there looking for their first professional job and having difficulty getting a foot in the door.

If I had one piece of advice to give these groups, it would be this: master the “informational interview.”

What does this mean exactly? It means reaching into your network, finding connections (friends, friends-of-friends, friends-of-your-relatives’-friends … you get the idea) that are in your target field of work, and asking them out for a cup of coffee or a phone chat to pick their brain.

Topics: Ask Amanda, Networking, New to the Workforce