Get on with the interview panel

Get on with the interview panel

How to get on with the interview panel – most job searches mean you have to deal with panel interviews.  Many large employers use panel interviewing as a part of their recruitment process.  It means a number of different people can be involved in the decision-making process.  They can be from different parts of the organization with an interest in the role. This gives a range of perspectives. Job interviews conducted by a panel are seen to be fair. There are seen as valid because a number of different opinions and views are taken into account..

Usually, each panel member will take turns to ask questions about your fitness for the role; your background, experience and interests.  It can be difficult to build rapport with each panel member . And sometimes, unfortunately, there might be one panel member that you find it particularly difficult to get on with.  This can happen at an interview, just as it can in other parts of your life.

Get on with the interview panel – tips

    • Knowing who the panel members are beforehand is a great help.  If you can, research people on the internet using LinkedIn, for example!  If this is not possible, use your knowledge of the company and the position to prepare to respond to questions from different parts of the organization. These could be human resources, line management, technical and finance.
    • Your introduction is important to creating the right first impression. This is a good opportunity to connect with each panel member on a personal level before the interview questions begin. Make initial eye contact with each panel member. Try to respond warmly and with interest.

When the questions start, listen carefully to what is being asked

  • When the questions start, listen carefully to what is being asked and don’t be afraid to ask for clarification. Make sure you understand correctly.  It is important to answer the question that has been asked.
  • Make initial eye contact with the person who asked the question. And then include the other panel members in your answer. Scan from one face to the next, pausing briefly on each. Focus on speaking to each individual As you finish your answer, return your focus to the person who asked the interview question. Stay calm and answer each question thoroughly.

Keep it pleasant

  • If you do get into a discussion, or you are asked to consider an alternative point of view, again stay calm. Do not expect to be successful if you let anger or annoyance show. Take time to respond with a considered view. Watch your body language. You can show frustration without saying a word.
  • If there is someone on the panel that you really cannot get on with, then don’t ignore how they make you feel and why.  Is that person to be your immediate boss in the new organization, or someone further up the line to whom you will report? Think seriously about whether the role is right for you.  Do this even if you are successful and it is a generous offer. I have worked with a number of clients who sensed at interview that all was not well. They ignored those feelings, only to have regrets later.

With the right preparation and approach, I hope you will get on well with all the members of any interview panel that you meet. If you need advice, get in touch.

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find her books on Amazon at this link

         

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Networking Tips to Help Your Job Search

Networking Tips to Help Your Job Search

Networking – if you are a new job seeker it might surprise you to learn that 60% networkingof jobs are never advertised.  That means that most vacancies are filled by word of mouth. There are filled through networking.

Why are so few vacancies advertised?

Advertising costs a lot of money.  And then it takes a lot of time to sort through application forms and CVs and even more resource to interview candidates. All this can be avoided by promoting from within the organisation or by employing people who are known to them. Some organisations actively encourage their staff to refer friends with suitable skills and most are happy to receive introductions to, or approaches from, good people.

How do I begin?

Most people are anxious about networking if they’ve never done it before. Taking an organised approach and working to your plan can help you feel more confident.

Steps to networking!

  1. Make a list of the people you know – including the sector they work in and who they might know.
  2. Look out for contacts and networks that relate to your own sector – check out industry conferences, events and forums.
  3. Exploit the possibilities of social networking. Join business networking sites such as LinkedIn. Look for relevant groups and organisations on social networking sites including Facebook. You could consider establishing your own networking group on LinkedIn or Facebook.
  4. Plan your approach. Have a clear idea of who you want to talk to or make contact with at events and online. Think about why you are interested in the organisation and why you’re approaching them.
  5. Do your homework. When approaching an individual or organisation try to research what they do. LinkedIn and Facebook are great tools for researching people. Get to understand their culture and the language of the sector they work in.
  6. Focus on what you can offer. Before setting up a networking meeting, think about what you can do for them. Could you suggest a contact that might help their business or offer to help out with a busy project they are involved in? Do you have specialist advice to offer?
  7. Tailor your communication. Don’t send out the same version of your speculative application letter or CV to all organisations. Make sure they are tailored to the organisation and show how your skills are relevant.
  8. Keep records.  Keep an excel spreadsheet or a notebook listing contacts,to whom you’ve spoken or written.  And include their contact details and their position as well as how you are going to follow up. This record can be invaluable if your contacts get in touch at a later date.
  9. Be yourself. The most important parts of networking are to be yourself and to treat other people with courtesy and respect. You don’t have to have overwhelming confidence – just remember other people at networking events may be feeling just like you. Show a real interest in other people and start a conversation, and then follow up; you will become a good net-worker and it will pay dividends.
  10. Remember, networking is 60% about giving (your time, interest and energy) and only 40% about getting

If you need support in developing the confidence to network please get in touch.

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find her books on Amazon at this link

         

Your Personal Brand Checklist

Your Personal Brand Checklist

Your personal brand checklist will ensure the world sees you as you wish. It will help you reflect your personal brand in all you do. Everything, from the comments you make on Twitter to the way you dress, strengthens or weakens the way the you are seen! Here is your personal brand checklist.

personal brand checklist
Your checklist
  1. Are you sure people believe you know what you are talking about? First of all, does your resume reflect the real depth of your experience – is it up to date? Do the words you use at work reflect the latest thinking on your subject at this point in time? Do you write articles and blog posts on your specialist interest?

What about your “elevator speech”?

2. Can you deliver a succinct description of what you do, how you do it differently, plus the benefit it delivers? Can you say your piece within the time that it takes an elevator to travel one floor?

3. Are you a convincing communicator? Do people believe what you say? Can you influence people? Why not do a market survey? So, you could choose three people you trust and ask them what they think!  Why not, read a book about it, take a class or work with a coach like me.

4. Do you dress for the job at work? Because you do need to know the dress code for your sector? And you would be wise to follow it for success. But what about off duty? If you met you boss in the supermarket, what impression would they get? Think about what is appropriate to the situation. And balance your individual style with clothing that will appeal to those you are trying to impress.

Do you know how to behave at work?

5. By that I mean the etiquette for your organisation and your sector? What kind of business cards do people carry? Most of all, always be courteous. Therefore, always be the one who follows up and says thank you after a kind deed. Remember to do it after sector and professional events.

6. Do you know the people you need to impress? Take time out to build your address book. Collect business cards – make sure yours reflects your image properly! When you have built your relationship, ask contacts for further introductions. Use LinkedIn to find new people.

How often do you nurture your network?

7. Are you working at nurturing your relationships with your contacts? Most of all, are you showing an active interest and do you genuinely care care about them? Ask how they are and what they are doing. But make sure you mean it.  Remember things they tell you – note them down if you need to!

8. What do you do with your spare time? Do you give something back to the community with voluntary work? Or perhaps you help your local sports club? You don’t need to brag about it; news does get around!

Your personal brand is precious. It’s the you the world sees and judges by. Nurture your brand and you will nurture both your life and your career.

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find her books on Amazon at this link

         

Job Search – Planning Your Day

Job Search – Planning Your Day

Wendy Smith is a Career, Life and Business Coach and Life Coach helping helping clients improve quality of life as well as being successful at work and at home.

I advise my unemployed job search clients to treat job seeking as a full time occupation. They need a job search timetable for their working day. Sometimes, this can be quite hard to come to terms with, particularly if you are in a partnership with childcare responsibilities. Being the one at home is often seen as an opportunity for you to take more responsibility for domestic chores, picking up the kids from school etc. But successful job search does require a big investment of your time.

Establish your new job search routine

If you are used to working “conventional” office hours then those are the hours I would recommend you commit to looking for work. Establish a new working routine within those hours. In broad terms you have five main tasks,

  • Making yourself a good candidate
  • Finding opportunities
  • Applying for them
  • Going through the recruitment process
  • Maintaining your confidence and self belief

Recognising these five tasks can help you to think through how to structure your time effectively.

You should, for example, spend at least part of each day checking for new vacancies. That is better done fairly early in the day. It is wise to spend at least part of the day managing your networking campaign – identifying possibilities, preparing to talk to people etc. You might want to dedicate a particular day, or days, in the week for meeting people to save on travel expenses etc.

Spend part of each day on research and learning. Read everything you can get

timetable for job search
Important but keep it flexible

your hands on about job search in the current market and what recruiters are saying on sites like LinkedIn. Not all advice will be wise, nor will it all apply to you, but, it is all worth at least scanning for new tips.

Research your sector thoroughly, the very latest developments and who the key players are. When you have a vacancy in sight, thoroughly research the organisation and their senior people.

If you have some money to invest, then think about using it to update your skills or for coaching to give you the edge in a competitive market.

Keep in mind

Remember that staying healthy and confident matters too. Take some time each day to exercise and to get some fresh air.

Work on recognising your own competence and remembering the successes you have had already. That isn’t only so that you can tell your success stories to potential employers. They are also a great boost to your self-confidence.

With commitment and organisation, your job search is far more likely to be a success.

If you need help preparing your job search strategy, please get in touch. Remember I offer a trial free half hour coaching session by phone or Skype.

I wish all those starting out on, or a continuing, a job search right now every success and if I can help, please get in touch.

Wendy Smith is a career, life and business coach with depth of experience in management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with the life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact Wendy at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com or find out more hereWendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach

Low Job Search Periods

Low Job Search Periods

Job Search at Holiday Time

By  Career Coach and Life Coach►helping you find fresh perspectives on life and your career

Low Job Search Periods! Regular job hunters and those in the recruitment industry recognise two periods when there can be something of a lull in the job market. One is during the summer holiday period and the other is from the beginning of December until mid-January.

Yes, it gets tougher but this isn’t the time to take your eye off the ball. There are likely to be some opportunities around and who knows who you might meet over the Christmas period and what opportunities they may know about.

Having said that though, this might by the time to review and update your CV. Always think about what the recruiter wants to find out – and give it to them, clearly and near the beginning of your CV. Most recruiters scan CVs very quickly and what you say at the top of the first page is all important.

This might be the time as well to further explore social networking. How much do you know about using

lPhoto credit: Inmobiliaria Lares, Cangas)

Twitter and Facebook and are you fully exploiting the possibilities of LinkedIn? Advertising jobs is costly to companies, so many recruit through social media. That makes joining the big three (LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook) lots of sense. Make sure you keep any dodgy Facebook pictures private, though.

Why not showcase your capabilities on line as well. Now might be the time to write some guest posts. Lots of blog owners (including me) welcome a well written article at any time of the year. I’m always on the lookout for 300 to 500 words on leadership, management, job search or career development. Guest bloggers take the burden off me to produce good content several times a week.

Take part in LinkedIn discussions too. They will continue over the Christmas period. Show people just what you have to contribute.

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

And don’t forget about chatting to recruiters informally and keeping up to date with their companies. That is a great way to find out about jobs before anyone else. Get on Twitter or LinkedIn and connect with them; make sure you wish them the compliments of the season, too. You have nothing to lose and you may have plenty to gain.

I wish all those starting out on, or a continuing, a job search this week every success and if I can help, please get in touch.

Remember I offer a trial free half hour coaching session by phone or Skype.

Warm regards

Wendy
wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com
http://wisewolfcoaching.com

  • Job Search: Make sure you include your personal profile/summary in your CV
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Follow Companies on Popular Social Media Sites to Keep Up to Date in Your Industry

Follow Companies on Popular Social Media Sites to Keep Up to Date in Your Industry

Today we have an article from Tamara M. Williams who loves learning about Career Development. She shares her knowledge and experiences in her articles. She also posts articles on other topics so visit her EzineArticles’ profile to learn more.

In order to grow in your career you should try to keep abreast of your industry. While this might seem like you need to visit every site you should just stick with the ones that bring varied content. A lot of companies have LinkedIn, Google+ and many other social media profiles. If you want to take advantage of the information that they share then just follow them on these sites to learn more about them. Each site offers simple ways to find your target companies. Use these methods so that you are always on the forefront of the latest happenings.

The first step is to determine which career you will be focusing on, companies that you want to work for and those that are in the same industry. Then the second step is to visit their website. On each website, look for their social media buttons and follow them. This means that when they post new information you will see them on your social media homepage. Using a mixture of social media sites also allows you access to various media content that will make the information a richer and deeper experience.

LinkedIn

First, visit LinkedIn and find the Search bar at the top of the page. Since you want to connect with various companies then start typing the names of one that you already know of. When the results show up, look under the Companies headings in the search results and click the company name. You will be taken to the Company’s Profile page. Select the Follow button at the top. You can view the other tabs for Career, and Products and Insights. Now that you are a follower, you will receive updates on your home page when there are job openings, news on products and services, and other great pieces of information. You can also find out if anyone in your network works at the company and can connect with them if you wish to. Next look at the right columns for the headings: “Persons also viewed” to see a list of similar companies. Go ahead and follow those as well. The more companies you connect with the more you will learn about each company and their respective industries.

Google+

Apart from LinkedIn, companies also have a Goole+ Profile. So after you have a list of companies that you wish to follow then navigate to Google+. Again look for the Search bar at the top and start typing the name of the company. Select the company name and once you are on their profile page then look for the Follow button. You can add them to a specific group if you wish. You can view the other tabs for Posts, Photos and YouTube if you want to get more information. In Google+, they share a lot more images and videos so gathering information is fun. You can also find out who are in their Circles if you wish to follow those persons and companies as well. Once you get back to your Google+ homepage then you will see the latest posts made from all the companies that you follow. Of course, you can return to a specific company whenever to want to get more details.

LinkedIn and Google+ are just a few ways to follow companies of interest and stay updated on the latest careers, products and services and other insights being shared. Using these social media networks to boost your career development is easy since you get all the updates on your homepage. This saves you the trouble of going to each company’s website or profile page when you need the latest information. Of course, still feel free to visit their websites because you get more detailed information there.

About the Author:
Tamara M. Williams loves learning about Career Development. She shares her knowledge and experiences in her articles. She also posts articles on other topics so visit her EzineArticles’ profile to learn more.

Find related articles at
http://ezinearticles.com/?expert=Tamara_M._Williams

Using Social Media for Job Search

Using Social Media for Job Search

Using social media – we all know by now that networking is one of the most important parts of job search. But not all of us are confident about using social media. This is a pity because social media sites will play an increasing role in networking, career advancement, and professional success in the future. If you are a reluctant user of social networking, I hope these tips will help.

Remember that most, if not everything, you do on-line stays there forever. And most can probably be found fairly easily by a potential employer.  So make sure everything you do and write on-line is compatible with the image you want potential employers to see.

Using Social Media – Sites to Consider

LinkedIn

Join LinkedIn if you have not already done so.  Have a look at the profiles of leaders in your professional field and the approach they have taken.  Fill out your profile with an eye to recording your achievements and making yourself an attractive job prospect. Find friends and former colleagues to connect with and join groups that represent you professional interest. You can join up to 50 groups and you can connect with other group members. Take part in group discussions to show your expertise. Update your status with useful links and information for others – become a resource. Do not head up your profile with “looking for work.” But use keywords related to the kind of work you are looking for in your profile. This will attract recruiters.

Facebook

More and more people every day seem to be using Facebook for professional networking. Although personally I have some reservations about its suitability.  Do not mix social and professional networking on Facebook. Use the security features on Facebook with great care. And choose your Friends wisely. Remember your Friends can usually see information about your other Friends in your Profile. Be careful about amount and type of information that you share.  Make sure you post only what you want business contacts or prospective employers to see. And post content relevant to your job search or career. Again, you can demonstrate your expertise.  Facebook can showcase you in the round for a potential employer. That, properly managed, is positive.

Twitter

Twitter is what is known as a microblogging service. You can, and people do, write messages to change the world in 140 characters. Twitter is open-ended and people. And companies use it in a variety of ways, including recruitment. But in 140 characters or less, it’s tough to apply for a job! However, you can tell colleagues and employers that you are looking. Find contacts and recruiters on Twitter. The begin to follow them to see new opportunities.  Follow companies and organizations that you would like to work for. And then find out what they are up to.  Post useful links and information as well as interactingwith others. Twitter is all about conversations, not broadcasting! You can find me on Twitter as @WWisewolf

Using social media can help you to create your professional brand and build your on-line presence strategically  to help with your job searching and career.

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find her books on Amazon at this link

         

Job Search: Asking For A Job Referral

Job Search: Asking For A Job Referral

When you are interested in a job and someone refers you, you can mention that asking for a job referralin your covering letter.  It will mean you start ahead of the field.  Having a referral is having a recommendation.

When you identify a job you wish to apply for check your network for contacts with the right connections. LinkedIn is great for this. And, if you can find someone who already works for the company you wish to apply to that is great.

As well as LinkedIn, you can also use tools like BranchOut which is a Facebook app. It helps you find your friends at companies you are interested in. Search by company name and you’ll see a list of your Facebook friends at the company. Then, you can approach them to  see if they are willing to help.

You can approach contacts in a number of ways

  • An old-fashioned letter,
  • an email message,
  • Sending a message on a networking site like LinkedIn or Facebook or by, for example, Skype.

It is usually better to ask in writing rather than by phone. That means your contact has time to think about your request and how they can refer you. It is fair to give them the opportunity to refuse. And that is easier to do in writing

When you ask someone to refer you, you are not asking for a reference letter.  But, they do need to know something about you to refer with confidence.  You can ask “Do you feel you know my work well enough to refer me for a job at your company?” Or, “Do you feel you could give me a referral?” That way, they have an out if they don’t feel comfortable. And, you can be assured that those who do refer you will be enthusiastic about your performance. They will write a positive letter or give you a strong endorsement.

You could always offer to provide an updated copy of your resume and information on your skills and experiences. This is so your contact has the right information to work with.

Don’t take it personally if your contact says no!

Don’t take it personally if your contact says no. There could be all kinds of reasons for their refusal and lots that have nothing to do with you.

But don’t feel diffident about making your request. People usually feel flattered to be asked. And if you are asked to make a referral, do your best to help. Though, don’t duck away from refusing if you don’t feel comfortable. Perhaps, you know the person they want to contact will not welcome the approach.

Remember, job search is about giving as well as getting, Build your network with generosity to others. That way you are likely to be remembered with kindness when you need help.

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find her books on Amazon at this link

         

How to network to find a job!

How to network to find a job!

How to network – job search networking is all about making connections with people. The people you want to contact are those who can either let you know about potential job openings or connect you with others who can tell you.

Networking means talking to everyone you know. This includes family, friends, neighbours, acquaintances, previous employers and colleagues, people you play sport with, local business people, the family solicitor or accountant—everyone. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know very many people. The people you do know might in turn know other people who have heard about a job opening.

Job search networking can be done at different levels. It can be a matter of having casual conversations with people you meet. Or you can make it an active and strategic campaign to contact people for ideas, suggestions and information.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. People are usually happy to help if they can. You have nothing to lose by phoning or meeting with your contacts. If you don’t make the connection, you won’t be able to tell if the person has good information or knows about an upcoming job. If you do speak with them, you might just land that job, or hear about another that suits you better.

At worst you might feel a bit uncomfortable. But, being prepared will make the discussions easier.

How to Prepare For Job Search Networking

Make a list of all the people you know.

They don’t need to be friends, or even acquaintances; you just need to have enough of a common link with them to initiate a conversation. If you can pick up the phone and call them, for any reason, they are potential networking contacts.

Prepare what you are going to say

You don’t want to just ring people up and say, ‘I work in HR. Do you know of any jobs going?’ Before you phone anyone, note down the specific details of what you’re looking for and exactly the kind of help you think they might be able to give you. For example, say:
‘I’m looking for a role in training and development within the public sector or a not-for-profit organisation. [Government department] or [organisation name] would be the kind of place I’d like to work in. Would you know of any places, maybe smaller and more local, that might be looking for trainers?’

Contact the people on your list in a systematic way

Set yourself a goal—maybe you’re happy to spend all afternoon on the phone to people, and cross twenty off your list. Or maybe you just want to work through the list steadily, making three calls a day. If you find yourself losing enthusiasm, being less conversational and speaking more mechanically, it might be time to take a break.

Ask them for job leads

To make it easy for people to help you, ask them if they have any tips, leads or suggestions. Ask them if they know of any vacancies at all for a person with your skills. If they don’t, ask them to keep you in mind in case anything comes up. Most importantly, ask them if they can suggest anyone else you contact. Do they know someone else who might know about the kinds of jobs that you’re after? Do they know anyone who works for this or that company that you’re interested in joining? If they can refer you to others, contact those other people and ask them the same questions.

Follow up contacts

Often people will tell you, ‘I’ll ask around and see what I can find out for you.’ Sometimes they do ask around; sometimes they forget almost immediately, or a crisis happens at work and they haven’t the time. If you don’t hear from them within a week or so, call them back to see if they’ve managed to find anything out.
Sometimes it seems as if no one will do anything for you or ask around on your behalf. It can be frustrating, but you should stay very polite and pleasant in your dealings with your contacts. After all, you’re asking them for a favour.

Follow up leads

After your initial networking efforts and research, you’ll probably have a long list of new people to try and make connections with. A phone call may be enough, or you might want to arrange a meeting with them to introduce yourself and ask them more specific questions about their company or industry.

Networking wisdom

• Whenever you meet someone new, exchange business cards with them (or at least get one from your new contact, so you can send them your details).
• Show your appreciation for the help you receive by sending a thank-you note, or by telling your contact how their information helped you, even if it only led indirectly to a job prospect.
• Think laterally about where to find network contacts. You can find people to add to your network almost anywhere.
• Get involved in a civic, social, religious or sporting organisation that interests you. As you meet new people in the organisation, they can become new network contacts.
• Join a professional organisation related to your field. The meetings or related events are good opportunities for you to network with people in your field.
• Think about online networking, in forums and in chat rooms.
• Record and organise all your network contacts—for example, on a spreadsheet or index cards. Write down what you found out from them, and any follow-up you should do. This will help you organise your time and monitor your progress.

Keep networking

Even after you’ve found a job, keep networking. Networking isn’t just for getting a job; it can help you do your job better, and it’s a way of being part of your community and society.

Life is full of surprises. You never know when you might need your network contacts’ help in another job search.

Social networking

Social networking sites, such as LinkedIn and Twitter, are becoming increasingly important tools for both job seekers and employers. Learn how to use them – if you would like some help I can recommend a first rate social networking trainer

With thanks to Australia’s Myfuture website

Wendy Mason is the The Career Coach – helping you to find fresh perspectives on your Job Search and Career. She helps you work towards your goals and aspirations, in a way that fits in with both work and home life. Email her at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com,  find her on Skype at wendymason14, or call +44 (0) 2081239146 (02081239146 for UK callers) or +1 262 317 9016 if you are in the US.

A free trial/consultation allows you to try phone coaching from the comfort of your own home and without risk. Don’t forget to ask about the Summer Special Offer 

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Looking Professional

Looking Professional

Job Search – Minding the Brand – Not Your Holiday Photo Please

Looking professional! So there I was sending out invitations to various contacts and I hit on one name I hadn’t seen for a while. It was a former colleague, so off I went to look at her profile to see what she’d been doing recently and there it was, that same old photo.

Well, you might say, be fair, there is a certain very flattering photo of you that has been on one website for a very long time. Yes, that is true.  But that isn’t her problem; my old chum has chosen to put on her professional profile, a not very flattering photo taken on holiday. True,  now she isn’t looking for work and,  for her, good old LI is just a way of keeping in touch with people. But suppose that were to change?

Now, she isn’t the only one.  I know others who have non-holiday and posed photos on their profile. But they still do not look at their best.  Some seem to have been taken with the giggles and others seem to think that looking professional equates to looking grim.

I’m not sure why they have not worked out that looking professional means looking like someone you would want to work with or do business with.

On top of that, remember, that these days potential employers may search social media for more information about you.  Those photos you are tagged in that were taken on the “stag” or “hen” in Benidorm are not going to work to your advantage.

So,  why not carry out an internet search on your name and check that what comes up promotes your professional brand.  Anything that doesn’t  see if you can delete it, or at least, remove the tags!

And in future guard pictures of you that appear on-line quite carefully – you never know what potential employer may be watching. Don’t let your photo “mistakes” come back to haunt you.

In job search and career development you are the brand – it is up to you to protect yourself. Looking professional really matters.

Wendy is the The Career Coach – helping you to find fresh perspectives on your Job Search and Career. She helps you work towards your goals and aspirations, in a way that fits in with both work and home life. Email her at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com,  find her on Skype at wendymason14, or call +44 (0) 2081239146 (02081239146 for UK callers) or +1 262 317 9016 if you are in the US.

A free trial/consultation allows you to try phone coaching from the comfort of your own home and without risk. Don’t forget to ask about the Summer Special Offer 
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