Your Twitter Brand: How to be “Job Search Ready”

Twitter1Still not sure about using Twitter as a job search platform? Or maybe you have yet to jump on the Twitter train. While Twitter has quickly become one of the best ways to stay up-to-date with what your favorite celebrities and public figures are doing in between photo shoots and vacations, Twitter can serve the same purpose when it comes to following your favorite companies. {Insert at-your-fingertips networking and career preparation here} By centering your twitter on companies and industries you can have an endless feed of news, positions, updates, and insight to help you get ahead. To get you started, a career focused bio can identify what makes you, YOU. This can be your brand, mission, interests and voice in 140 characters or less.

Here are some tips for making your profile job search friendly:

-List ERAU in your bio. This is a 160-character elevator pitch. Since Twitter is all about statements that are short and sweet, make use of this precious space to ensure that you are easily identifiable and current.

-Use twitter handles and hashtags that highlight your student involvement/organizations. Showcase not only who you are and what you are interested in, but show some love for your social channels.

“ERAU c/o 2015: Major, Aerospace Engineering-Propulsion. Minor, Mechanical Engineering. Team Lead, @EcoEagles. Aviation Enthusiast. #roboticsnerd #pilot”

-List current employers and their social profiles. This can get you larger exposure and again, give the viewer of your profile a quick view of your current employment status.

-Make your personal brand your own. Use leftover space to generate your voice/passions/interests/abilities etc. by listing awards or accomplishments. Take advantage of being able to stand out with your distinct uniqueness.

-Help the reader understand what your interests are on Social Media platforms– what do you find yourself talking about on Twitter? Sharing this will help people know what you are going to talk about and subsequently make them want to follow you.

“@EmbryRiddle 2014: MBA Student. @SouthwestAir analyst intern. @NBAA treasurer. All things aviation, avid traveler, on-the-side photog, entrepreneur, future CEO.”

– Twitter can be used as a professional or personal brand. But remember that anyone can search for you and find the images you use to identify yourself. Make sure that even if this is more of a personal channel for you, that your image conveys your overall brand.

-Lastly, remember that Twitter isn’t just about what you have to say, it’s about starting conversations. Engaging in what people are saying within your topics of interest can lead to following more companies, learning about their hiring trends, finding the open positions, and ultimately helping you land a job!

Twitter2Looking for recommendations on who to start following? Check out these tweeters: https://eraucso.wordpress.com/2011/12/16/best-job-search-resources-on-twitter/

This article adapted from (http://thesocialu101.com/5-quick-tips-for-a-great-twitter-bio/)

Emily Ferraro is new to the Career Services Office at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and serves as the Program Manager for undergraduate Aerospace Engineering students. She completed her Bachelor of Arts degree in International Studies as well as her Master of Education in Curriculum & Instruction specializing in College Student Affairs at the University of South Florida in Tampa, FL. Emily enjoys working with students to help them achieve their personal and professional career goals and specializes in topics such as personal branding and resume writing.

New College Grad Ultimate Checklist for Resume Success

Dr. Randall Hansen posted a great article on the Quintessential Careers Blog in regards to a new college grad checklist for creating the best resume for the job search.

Here is the article in its entirety.

Quint CareersReview your resume for these best practices:

I have…

Not used a resume template to create my resume;
Used standard fonts (no more than 2) in normal size (11-12 pt.);
Placed my name at the top my resume in a bold style;
Listed the best two methods to reach me (typically cell, email);
Used a professional/appropriate email address; no Yahoo or “babydoll;”
A well-formed headline and/or branding statement;
A Summary of Qualifications section with 3-4 targeted bullet points;
An Education section that follows next, containing only my college experience;
An Education section that lists my college degree, honors and awards, and GPA (if above a 3.0);
An Experience section that follows next, listing all relevant entries in reverse chronological order;
Included relevant jobs, internships, and volunteering in my Experience section;
Listed each experience entry by the job title, employer, city, state, and start/end dates;
Written 3-4 bulleted phrases for each experience — highlighting my accomplishments, not duties;
Started each experience bullet point with a strong action verb;
Quantified my accomplishments, where possible;
Included extracurricular activities, only if relevant;
Kept my resume to one (full) page;
Not listed any references or names of supervisors;
Reviewed other samples of good new college graduate resumes;
Spell checked and proofread every single word on my resume;
Made refinements to my resume to help better navigate employer applicant tracking systems;
Received critiques from key people in my network and made appropriate revisions.

To read the full article, please visit the Quintessential Careers Blog: http://blog.quintcareers.com/college-grad-resume-checklist/

Remember that your resume should be tailored for the specific position you are seeking.  The above are just suggestions to consider when writing your resume.

 

 

 

The “Social” Job Search: Using Social Media to Get Ahead

By Emily Ferraro

socialIt’s no secret that maintaining a professional online presence can be one of the first steps to landing a job or internship. With another semester coming to an end, it’s time to take a look at how you use your everyday social media platforms to search for opportunities. Here are five ways you can jumpstart your search:

1.) Assess your current social media accounts. What do your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vine, Pinterest and LinkedIn profiles look like? Are you keeping a consistent personal brand that you are proud of? Remember that your privacy settings can help and hurt you in the world of social media recruitment. Do not make your profiles so private that it looks like you are trying to hide, and don’t assume that all privacy settings hide your embarrassing photos and posts. To make sure you’re aware of what others can see, use Google Alerts to track your activity online.

2.) Tailor your tactics: engage on each platform differently. For example, on Twitter you only have 140 characters per tweet, so your ability to engage with others in your network must be brief and creative. Take these tips into consideration:

  • Facebook– Consider your personal brand when posting profile pictures and cover photos. Manage your privacy settings as they are always changing. Use Facebook’s profile options at your discretion, but if you want to connect with others using Facebook’s new Graph Search, you will want to add work places and education sections. Not many people use Facebook for professional purposes; this will help you stand out when you want to make new connections. Remember to “like” and follow industries and groups that are relevant to your career interests. Use Facebook pages and apps for job searches.
  • Twitter– Being professional while perfecting the use of hash tags geared towards your career goals is going to help you to be found in the job search. Start by following ERAU Career Services and use it as a guide for what to post and who to follow. Also follow important leaders in your desired industry. Look for employers/companies tweeting open job posts through sites such as “Tweetmyjobs” and “TwitJobSearch.”
  • LinkedIn– The go-to professional social media platform is the most helpful when it comes to connecting with your professional contacts and keeping in touch. Unlike the other platforms, LinkedIn is used primarily for job searching and professional activity. Your profile has the ability to be an extensive and detailed version of your resume paired with your personal voice and passions through statuses and projects. Follow influencers, groups, and companies to learn more about your industry. Share, comment, and engage with others through their posts and discussions. Use the tools through LinkedIn Higher Education listed below for more help building your profile.
  • Pinterest– When it comes to building professional pins on your Pinterest board, start with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Career Services. Pinterest’s potential for helping you secure a job isn’t as well-known as LinkedIn, but by following career experts on Pinterest you can keep up with the latest hiring trends in addition to seeing the culture of a company through their pins. Follow the companies that you are interested in working for and comment, like, or re-pin their pins; just remember to be professional! This is a site used for sharing ideas and finding commonalities which can be a great way for recruiters to find out more about your interests.
  • For more insight on each individual social media platform, visit The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) for Social Media Guides: http://www.naceweb.org/knowledge/social-media/career-counselors-guide.aspx

3.) Post content that is relevant to your field/area of study. It is amazing how quickly one post can be liked, seen, shared, retweeted, etc. by people within and outside of your network. Recruiters are following trends and articles within your area of interest. By being a part of the discussion, you can be open to more opportunities and connections. Use Google Alerts to help you track new and developing stories.

4.) The most well-known application for professional online networking is LinkedIn. A newer development from LinkedIn now reaches out to university students through LinkedIn Higher Education. Using this tool can help you from beginning to end when it comes to your job search. Included are guides and tip sheets on topics such as building your profile, creating your brand, and communicating with connections, all of which are geared towards collegiate students.

5.) Consider blogging as an option to build your online professional presence. Start by seeing what fellow bloggers are doing within your area of interest and adopt a style of your own. Although this may not seem like a conventional idea for job searching, it is another opportunity to have your voice and brand be heard. It could also be another way to connect by following leaders from different industries and contributing to the conversation when you have something to add.

Social Media is ever-changing, and there are always new resources and tactics. Try your best to follow the trends while staying true to your brand and professional goals. Use the resources below for more insight and remember to connect with ERAU Career Services on all of our social media platforms!

Resources:
Facebook:
http://jobs.aol.com/articles/2013/01/16/facebook-social-graph-search-job-hunting/

LinkedIn:
http://university.linkedin.com/university/global/en_us/index/linkedin-for-students.html

Twitter:
http://mashable.com/2013/10/17/twitter-job-hunting/
http://www.naceweb.org/s08072013/social-media-hashtags-job-listings.aspx
http://www.twitjobsearch.com/

Social Media Tools:
http://www.naceweb.org/knowledge/social-media/career-counselors-guide.aspx

Emily Ferraro is new to the Career Services Office at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and serves as the Program Manager for undergraduate Aerospace Engineering students. She completed her Bachelor of Arts degree in International Studies as well as her Master of Education in Curriculum & Instruction specializing in College Student Affairs at the University of South Florida in Tampa, FL. Emily enjoys working with students to help them achieve their personal and professional career goals and specializes in topics such as personal branding and resume writing.

CareerSpots Video Highlight: The Elevator Pitch

Embry-Riddle Career Services wants you to review CareerSpots videos, a series of visual resources to help with your internship/job search and career development.

An Elevator Pitch is a useful tool for anyone in the business world, and it is especially beneficial for job seekers.  This planned and practiced introduction, typically 30 seconds in length, can help as you meet contacts, introduce yourself and network.

WATCH The Elevator Pitch

Elevator-Pitch

The New Social Media on the Block: Pinterest

By Amy Treutel

Pinning.  It’s a common word that has spread like wildfire thanks to the up andPinterest-Logo-Tag-Cloud1 coming social media sensation, Pinterest.  Pinterest is an image-based social media that centers around virtual pinboards.  Users create accounts to follow these online boards, “pin” graphics to their own boards and like and comment on others’ pins.  Pinterest is a great platform to begin visually building your personal brand.

Most people who are familiar with Pinterest know it as a way to pin their favorite quotes, dream homes, cute animals, party ideas and cleaning tips.  While Pinterest is, in fact, great for pinning all of the above items, let’s consider some options on how to use Pinterest professionally to attract employers and help build your brand.

  • Start by following Career Services on Pinterest!  There are a multitude of resources on the various boards we have pinned.  Go ahead and use some of these for inspiration to get yourself started.
  • Follow different companies in which you are interested.  See what they’ve pinned on their boards and comment on some of their individual pins that resonate with you.  Please keep in mind, however, that if you aspire to work at a company, keep your comments extremely professional in nature.
  • Pin your interests.  Pinterest gives potential employers more of a personal insight into your life, and while, yes, you do want to show them you are a capable professional, different hobbies and interests you have can show them you live a well-balanced life.  They might even find something they have in common with you.
  • Use the text boxes associated with each pin effectively.  If you’re going to pin a mirage of images, give an explanation as to why you found that image useful or how it inspired you.  Remember, people (and employers) looking at your boards cannot read your mind, so tell them why it is important you pinned what you did.
  • Follow career experts on Pinterest.  That is one of the easiest ways for you to keep up with hiring trends and learn useful information regarding the job search and interview process.  And as an added bonus, infographics are a great visual learning tool that many of these career experts use, so getting the information is quick and efficient.

One important thing to note about Pinterest, however, is it is vital to continuously update your boards to keep your brand fresh.  Repin others’ pins and like their boards to help keep yourself relevant.  When you find an interesting article while browsing the internet, take a couple of extra seconds and immediately pin it to your corresponding board.  That way if an employer is searching for you on social media, they will see you are up-to-date on current events and take an active role in keeping your brand fresh.

As with all social media, it is very important to protect your privacy.  Please view the Career Services Social Media Privacy Guide for some tips.

Amy Treutel has a Bachelor of Science in Air Traffic Management and a Master of Science degree in Aeronautics with a specialization in Management from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.  She currently works as the Office Associate and has been part of the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Career Services team for over five years.

Protecting Your Brand

by Kristy Amburgey

Branding YourselfAfter spending several weeks addressing the topic of branding, from Branding 101, planning for branding and how to brand, it’s time to address protecting your brand.

As a result of the increase in branding efforts by job seekers, it also seems that there needs to be an increase in awareness of your web presence.  With your increased use of resources such as LinkedIn, Facebook, a personal blog, and contributing to forums, you need to be acutely aware of how important it is to both protect your brand and project a positive image.

First thing you should do is to conduct an Internet search of your name or iterations of your name (like a maiden name or a nick name).  Make sure that you know what others may see about you if they were to conduct a similar search.  If you find negative information, depending on the social media used, remove any tags, links, names, etc. from what you can; ask others to do the same if you can’t manipulate the system.  Many search engines have processes to help you remove offending information; search Google, Bing or other engines to find out the steps to take, which often involve requests for action.  For some search results, you may not be able to fix what is seen (for example, a person with a similar name that has a bad reputation), but do you best to control what you can with privacy settings and with personal accountability.

With branding, you need people to find you, so you should set your security or protection to where potential employers can track down your efforts.  But you need to also ensure that truly personal information (family vacation pictures, for example) is viewable by your closest friends and family and not the entire web-verse, especially if your personal world conflicts with or negatively impacts in any way your professional brand.  There are privacy guidelines and information for Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter that should be reviewed to understand the best ways to control your settings.  For blog posts or forum comments, search for system-specific guidelines to understand appropriate ways to protect your presence.

In addition to using the privacy settings provided by the systems you use, always present yourself in the most professional way possible.  This step helps ensure that there is no doubt about your professionalism even if someone slips through the cracks and sees your personal information.  Use appropriate grammar and punctuation and clear wording when writing.  Keep your tone positive and not derogatory towards anyone or any group.  Understand that people’s perception of what you post may be different than what you intend, but their perception will always be their reality.  Avoid arguing with others in public forums.  Overall, make all your online interactions appropriate for any audience at any point in time, especially as you search for a job.

Presenting your brand is important, but protecting your brand is even more vital.  First impressions are just that; you may never get a chance to mend a negative first view of your online world.  As you work on and grow your brand, assume that anyone can see anything you put out there in the world-wide web.  Use privacy guidelines and settings along with professionalism and common sense to  manage your brand.

Kristy Amburgey is the Associate Director of Career Services – Daytona Beach campus and currently manages marketing and employer relations for the department.  She has been with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University for approximately 10 years and with Career Services for nine years.

How to Create Your Brand: Part Two

by Kristy Amburgey

personal brandingSome people consider branding as a marketing method of large corporations with iconic images, like the Coca-Cola can or the perfectly simple Nike logo.  Branding, though, is a technique that can be implemented by any job seeker or professional.  After understanding why you should have a brand and what steps you should take before branding, you can now work on your brand.

Branding is marketing yourself to potential employers using technological and creative resources, allowing you to stand out from others.  Some of you already have a brand but just don’t know how to further it. Branding can involve Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Twitter, YouTube, blogging, personal website, user generated media like Squidoo, podcasts, speaking engagements/webinars and more.

One of the easiest ways to create a brand is via LinkedIn, and many of you may already have an account.  But you need to ensure your LinkedIn profile is approachable, meaning that it entices people to want to read it and then makes it easy for the readers to find useful information about you.  A professional picture, a clearly worded headline with a value statement and accurate job and education information are all valuable ways in which your profile can be quickly scanned for information that helps a potential employer (or even a client).  Ensure that your Skills & Expertise area is complete and that your contact preferences allow people to communicate with you.  Just like with so many job search resources, LinkedIn is not a passive wait-and-see site.  You need to be active, and you need to be a good connection to others.  Join groups but also provide valuable comments and feedback.  Share resources or articles but share them with people who you feel would benefit the most from the information.  You can also use some of the “apps” that LinkedIn hosts to share presentations or portfolios.  Although you want your privacy settings on the appropriate level that makes you comfortable, you need to ensure you still come up in online searches.

Like LinkedIn, you can use Facebook, Google+ and Twitter as a way to build your brand.  It is imperative that you maintain a distinct separation from your personal habits and your professional presence.  One of the best ways to handle this distinction is to create professional accounts for each of the sources you use.  Via your professional Facebook account, you can like pages of companies you want to target for employment, you can share relevant content with your group and you can befriend people in your professional world. Build a following on Twitter by being an expert in your field.  Google+ allows your brand to be more visible in internet search results.  Just be aware that Facebook, specifically, and these types of resources can be favored for fun, personal interactions, and your friends may not welcome a more professional presence.

Using other technology to create your brand is just as beneficial but may need a bit more time to devote to maintain your web presence.  Consider starting and actively maintaining a blog relevant to your industry.  Create a website that serves almost like your resume.  Contribute to online publications so that your authorship is more easily found.

Even though technology is one of the best ways to extend your brand, you should definitely use good ole fashioned in-person networking.  During informal or formal networking sessions, offer your services as a way to establish your expertise.  Communicate your brand to your mentors and ask for honest feedback.  Write articles for publications in traditional print, where your biography can be included with information about your website or blog.  Even something simple like adding your online branding links to your business card is beneficial.  After meeting with people, follow-up with them via a thank you note or personal email about something that is helpful to them.

Creating your brand is not enough.  You need to maintain and promote your brand.  Ensure you consistently update your profiles, Twitter, blog, etc. so that you continue building your presence.  Ensure that you periodically revise information on websites or blogs to keep things fresh and current.  Promoting your brand can take a bit more time, but it can be worth the extra effort.   When you leave comments for someone, include relevant links back to your web presence.  Advocate for your brand by asking to be considered for inclusion in “top” lists and on websites that drive plenty of traffic.  Consider using Google Analytics to optimize your brand.

This list of ways in which you can build your brand is fairly short.  Keep in mind that for every popular branding platform, there are three to four other options that you can use.  You don’t have to stick to this list either.  Get creative and find ways to establish your brand that appeals to you and your abilities.  If you are struggling with the idea of using these resources, consider finding someone who is able to work with you until you feel more comfortable using the technology.  Creating your brand is important so implement some of these platforms to establish a meaningful presence in the industry.

On a side note, one of my favorite blogs is the Personal Branding Blog.  This site is a great resource for the topic of branding.

The last article in this series is about protecting your brand.  Look for it next week!

Kristy Amburgey is the Associate Director of Career Services – Daytona Beach campus and currently manages marketing and employer relations for the department.  She has been with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University for approximately 10 years and with Career Services for nine years.

How to Create Your Brand: Part One

by Kristy Amburgey

brandPersonal branding is a great way for any job seeker or professional to establish his or her expertise in industry or in the market, and a personal brand, especially in the online world, allows you to be more easily found and makes it easier for someone to comprehend your brand.  Before you start to implement actual branding ideas, you first need to understand your brand…YOU.

To create your brand, you need to take the time to figure out what skills, qualities, experiences, accomplishments, etc. upon which you are going to build your reputation.  You need to evaluate what makes you unique as a job seeker and what traits your desired companies value and marry the two together into one cohesive brand.

Depending on where you are in your career, you can draw from your academic, co-op/internship, project, volunteer and work (part-time and full-time) experiences.  Consider the experiences that are most closely related to the career you want and remember to include the accomplishments that make you stand out from the typical candidate.  Directly related experiences should be prioritized as you create your brand, but you also need to apply experiences that are not typical of your industry to further show a connection between you and what the employer needs. To understand industry expectations, you should have several targeted companies in mind and know what the “typical” candidate looks like for them.

You may have a grasp on what skills, accomplishments and qualifications you are going to use to build your brand, but you must also know what you expect to achieve with your personal brand.  What job(s) do you desire?  What outcomes are you seeking with your brand?  It is difficult to create a brand when you don’t know who your target audience is or what your own goals happen to be.  When creating your brand, understand who you want to see your branding efforts and keep their personalities and preferences in mind.  When you are seeking employment, it is even more important to understand your audience and know what job you want before developing your brand.

Creating a personal brand is a valuable way to communicate information about you.  Before creating the brand, you must have a clear picture of what you can offer and what you want in order to create a strategy that works.  And you need to honestly evaluate your connection to these areas before beginning your branding efforts.

Next week, we will continue the idea of creating a brand with How to Create Your Brand: Part Two.

Kristy Amburgey is the Associate Director of Career Services – Daytona Beach campus and currently manages marketing and employer relations for the department.  She has been with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University for approximately 10 years and with Career Services for nine years.

Branding 101

by Kristy Amburgey

Branding is a hot topic right now.  There are websites, blogs and online resources devoted to branding and telling you how to brand yourself.  You have this buzz word floating around in many articles and in some of the career advice you might hear.  Branding is really a brand all to itself!  The take-away from this hot topic is that branding is important for both your job search and for furthering your career.  Branding is more than a buzz word, and there are many reasons you should jump on board the branding bandwagon.   Over the next three weeks, branding and several of the supporting ideas will be discussed.

What is branding?  For a job search, branding is identifying ways to market your skills, qualities and accomplishments to a potential employer (the same concept applies to people seeking to grow their businesses or draw attention to products they produce).  This concept may sound like something you already do, right?  You may already find ways to communicate your value to employers, but branding is taking that communication method several steps further and allowing you, the brand, to create a targeted message, to establish your expertise, to control your brand, to be more easily found and to go where the employers are.

One of the primary responsibilities of a branding specialist (you) is to create an image or concept that appeals to a specific target market.  Just like any marketing professional would do, you have to create a message through wording and imagery and by selling an idea to a specific group, which appeals to their sense of self identity and their needs.  Branding is very similar.  You want to create a concept about you that appeals to your target audience.  Develop a strategy that grabs the attention of hiring managers or recruiters and then appeals to their image of the ideal candidate.

Along with creating a targeted message, branding is also about establishing your expertise and uniqueness.  Through branding, you want to communicate your professional savvy and value to an identified target audience through evidence-based information.  Showcase your brand by relating your experiences (academics, projects, writing, research and jobs), accomplishments (quantifiable details) and uniqueness (what makes you stand out from the competition) to what an employer needs.

Creating a brand is also beneficial in that you can more easily control what people perceive about you and what they find about you if you are carefully protecting your brand.  In an ideal world, you would only have glowing recommendations about you wherever an employer might look, but the reality is that your online reputation may be different from what you want an employer to see, unfairly or not.  With branding, you can project the image, through accurate evidence-based information, of the professional you are and not rely on other people’s interpretation of your background.  Controlling your brand is even more important if you host a blog or website that allows open comments.

Branding is a necessary tool in your job search repertoire because you can make it easier for someone to find you and understand your value.  Potential employers may be able to see your expertise via a resume, cover letter or recommendations, but what if you are never able to reach those potential employers to share with them the traditional methods for establishing your expertise?  Your goal should be to create a brand where potential employers can find you.  This is the value of branding…establishing ways for more people to more easily identify who you are.

Additionally, more and more employers are using social media to search for and vet the candidates, so, as a job seeker, you must go where the employers are!  Be present through your well-established brand where you know that employers in your industry go to find candidates.

Finally, as more and more people are creating brands for themselves, it is important that you not get left behind or be seen as using outdated job search methods.  You may not like the idea of branding or exposing yourself to the worldwide web, but it is becoming more expected that professionals and job seekers alike have an online presence.  It is important for you to ensure that your online presence is what you want to communicate and what you want to be found.

Come back next week for How to Create Your Brand: Part One.

Kristy Amburgey is the Associate Director of Career Services – Daytona Beach campus and currently manages marketing and employer relations for the department.  She has been with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University for approximately 10 years and with Career Services for nine years.

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