3 WAYS TO BOOST YOUR PROFESSIONAL NETWORK

  Building and keeping relationships with individuals in all walks of life will provide you with a sturdy link to future career opportunities. Networking is about building mutually beneficial relationships, and it is an ongoing tool in your professional plan.   If you are right out of school, create your first networking list of all the individuals you met in school including fraternity/sorority groups, classmates, professional organizations, volunteer organizations, and your professors. You may even want to look at the people you knew in high school. If you’ve been working for a while, list all your coworkers. Connect with them via email, LinkedIn, and/or phone to say hi and let them know what you’re doing. It’s important to build or rebuild these relationships before you want to ask for favors like a new job. Don’t forget to ask if there’s any way you can help them as well. Build a list of the target audience(s) within your area of expertise. Review every association, every event, and every charity that would attract this group of individuals. Create a schedule to attend a certain number of events a week/month and set up time for follow-up phone calls. And don’t forget to send everyone you meet an invitation on LinkedIn. Mark your calendar to follow-up with individuals that may be critical to your future career. Especially those you worked with and would like to work with again. Send them periodic emails or LinkedIn notes letting them know about interesting articles or events that you may be attending. Anything to keep the door open The more you talk with people, hand out your... read more

What happens if my interview feels wrong?

” 4 minutes into my interview and it just felt wrong,” said Ashley. “I don’t like the way their team operates.”   If this feels ‘icky’ then listen to your gut. HOWEVER, remember to treat every interviewer like they are the most important person you’ve talked with. Treat them with respect….you never want to burn bridges. Remember, people change jobs and this interviewer may take a job at another company someday….a company where you end up interviewing for a job.   Susan Caplan is the go-to MARKETING YOURSELF expert. She is an inspiring keynote speaker, consultant, teacher and author of the Marketing Yourself to the Real World™ book series.   Hire: keynote speaker, resume writing, career coach Purchase Books: Marketing Yourself to the Real World™ Follow: Facebook, BLOG Contact:... read more

Moving From School To The Real World

Moving from school to the real world is a huge transition. For the first time in your life, your success won’t be determined by grades, and time won’t be measured by semesters. Your slate is clean. YOU decide what you want your future to hold. YOU decide what the road should look like. YOU decide the outcome.   While you are no longer a college student, you’re not quite part of the working population either. What may help is to start thinking of yourself as two separate people. One is the personal side, and may not change much from what you are now. The other is your professional side, the one you exhibit in a professional environment. There are certain ways you may conduct yourself in personal life, or while you were a student, that would not fit into your professional life…. and vica versa. Along the way, those two sides of you may blend but for now, you can start creating the ‘professional you’ and how you will ‘market’ that person.     TIP: The ‘professional you’ will drive the creation of all the tools you’ll need to succeed.  Think of them as your professional toolkit: resume, LinkedIn profile, business cards, professional introduction, interview skills, etc.   Susan Caplan is the go-to MARKETING YOURSELF expert. She is an inspiring keynote speaker, consultant, teacher and author of the Marketing Yourself to the Real World™ book series.   Hire: keynote speaker, resume writing, career coach Purchase Books: Marketing Yourself to the Real World™ Follow: Facebook, BLOG Contact:... read more

How can LinkedIn help with my job search?

LinkedIn (www.LinkedIn.com) is considered one of the best sites for business networking. Each and every day more and more companies are using this site to fill job openings. It’s easy to set up a profile, and I highly recommend you take advantage of their tutorials to help you through the process.   Here are some ways you can use LinkedIn right now: Join your school page and school alumni page on LinkedIn Send invitations to all your contacts Join online business groups in your area of expertise Join LinkedIn sites for any companies you have worked for or want to work for Gain and provide introductions to  potential business contacts Respond to job postings     Susan Caplan is the go-to MARKETING YOURSELF expert. She is an inspiring keynote speaker, consultant, teacher and author of the Marketing Yourself to the Real World™ book series. Hire: keynote speaker, resume writing, career coach Purchase Books: Marketing Yourself to the Real World™ Follow: Facebook, BLOG Contact:... read more

How do you handle an unexpected FaceTime call with a recruiter?

I was recently asked: “For my interview, the recruiter set up a phone call. I was prepared to answer all her questions but instead of calling, she FaceTimes me instead. I was not expecting it and my hair was a mess and I was wearing a rock concert t-shirt. What should I do if it happens again?”   My answer is simple, if someone FaceTimes you and you weren’t expecting it…don’t answer. Call them back directly and tell them you are sorry but are not able to FaceTime at this moment and need to just make it a phone call. Let them know that you will be happy to set up FaceTime for the next discussion. Remember, always be prepared and stay in control of the job search process.   Susan Caplan is the go-to MARKETING YOURSELF expert. She is an inspiring keynote speaker, consultant, teacher and author of the Marketing Yourself to the Real World™ book series.  Hire: keynote speaker, resume writing, career coach Purchase Books: Marketing Yourself to the Real World™ Follow: Facebook, BLOG Contact:  info@SusanCaplan.com... read more

IS MY HANDSHAKE RIGHT?

The handshake is the first impression you will make when you meet someone. Whether you are at a career fair, social event or interview, shake hands with everyone you meet. A handshake can share a lot about an individual’s confidence and professionalism, so take time to practice. Clean your hand of any food or moisture before you extend it. Extend your right hand straight out, keeping your four fingers together. Firmly take the other persons hand (don’t squeeze too tightly, but don’t be too soft). Keep your elbow close to your body and shake from the elbow…not the shoulder. Your whole arm shouldn’t move. Stand up straight, look the other person in the eye and smile. A handshake should not be replaced with a high five or a fist... read more

INTERNSHIPS …and other experiential education

Today, internships and other experiential education opportunities have become an integral part of a career path. And many companies are offering opportunities for individuals that have recently graduated. These opportunities allow you to:   Gain real work experience Develop your professional image and build confidence Learn new skills Create a network of connections Build your resume Explore new opportunities Land a full-time job Gain school credit Make extra money Learn more about an industry Be competitive in today’s marketplace.   There are different ways to gain experience so do your research. If you are a student, utilize your school career center for more information as some schools have specific requirements. Cooperative education: Instead of a one-time assignment with a company, a co-op provides multiple periods of work. These assignments usually alternate between school, study and work and are typically related to a specific major or career. Public sector: Typically this term refers to companies that are for profit and can range from small to large businesses. Non-profit sector: Working in a non-profit sector usually allows you to dedicate your time to helping others or a cause. Start-ups: Being part of a start-up organization can be very exhilarating. However, understand that they are usually working on a tighter budget, so expect to wear many hats during your internship. Virtual internships: These internships allow you to work from your dorm or house using a computer. Paid or unpaid: Some companies pay, while others don’t. There are new laws concerning unpaid internships, so you will need to do your research. The issue of pay is determined by the Fair Labor Standards Act.... read more

Do I need a special email address for job search?

Part of your professional toolkit should include a professional email address. While a nickname may work in your personal life, a response to a potential employer from FunGuy@gmail.com may send the wrong message in your job search.   If possible, incorporate your whole name into an email address to continually brand yourself. EXAMPLE: If your name is Mary Smith, then make your email address Mary@MarySmith.com or MarySmith@gmail.com. Another bonus of having a separate email address is that it will allow you to keep job-related messages from getting lost among your other... read more

Top Campus Resources

Building your career doesn’t wait until after graduation or when you decide to leave a job. Every new experience you have, every new skill you learn, every time you are part of a team, sets you apart from the competition and one step closer to a job.   Time goes very quickly while you are in school so take advantage of all the resources you have at your fingertips WHILE you are on campus. Even if you’ve already graduated, these resources are usually available to alum. Clubs, Associations, Student Groups: While you are in school, becoming part of something outside your regular class schedule. Being part of a group helps to build relationships, showcase your talents, and build new experiences for your resume. If you’ve graduated, remain involved with these groups to continue relationship building. Career and Internship Fairs: A great place to meet with companies that WANT to hire from your school. Most schools are open to Alumni attending these also. Career Center: Current students and Alumni can speak with career center professionals to get assistance on career direction. Library: Check out an abundance of resources including company information, job descriptions, and speakers. Professors: Build relationships with your professors as they can provide valuable input on your area of concentration, letters of recommendation, and potential referrals. Join the Alumni Association: Build early relationships with individuals that WANT to help each other. Joining as a student may be free or offer a discounted rate. School Job Sites: Many schools have a job site portal that lists jobs and internships from outside businesses. Like career fairs, you should take advantage... read more

Where Do Employers Find Candidates?

Finding the right job means meeting and talking to as many people in your ‘target audience’ group as possible. Keep your name ‘top of mind’ so when someone hears of a job opportunity they think of you first.   Today, the top places where employers find qualified job candidates are: Referral from a friend or colleague Referral though a trusted organization or association Online job posting, typically from the company website LinkedIn, Twitter Promote or hire someone whose work they already know School job sites or alumni... read more