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8 Effective Ways to Master the Video Interview

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Hone Your Skills and Impress Them In Front of a Camera.

It’s more commonplace these days for companies to prefer video interviews with candidates. More and more organizations are using video services like Skype, Google Hangouts, and Join.Me to interview job candidates and for regular business meetings. This allows them to save time and screen candidates faster vs. bringing them in for a face to face interview.

Now, in addition to all the normal preparation for in-person interviews, you also must prepare for being on camera, which has its own etiquette and pitfalls. Doing well in video interviews will take some extra effort and understanding of the platform.

Here are 8 important suggestions and tips to hone your skills and impress them in front of a camera.

1. Be Comfortable. 
Pick the device you are at ease with. It could be your laptop, tablet or even your smartphone. If you’re unsure, do some mock interviews beforehand to check each out.

Tips:
> To avoid technical difficulties on the day of the interview, make sure that you set up the device beforehand.
> When the interview is over, make sure you end the call.

2. Be Focused.
Frame your face so you make direct eye contact. Check your image on the desktop, laptop, tablet, or smart phone. Ensure that your face is centered on the screen with a straight sight line between your eyes and the camera.

Tips:
> Look directly into the camera, not the screen, as you talk.
> When others talk, it’s fine to look at them on your screen.
> Move your video chat window near your camera on your computer so you can look at both together.

3. Be Calm.  
Select a simple, quiet and static setting and avoid all distractions.

Tips:
> Make sure the desk in front of you or behind is organized.
> If sitting in an open area, ensure there is no movement around.
> Typing during the meeting could be disruptive so it is better to keep a paper handy to jot down notes.

4. Be Bright.
Set up a bright scene with good, plentiful lighting. This can be more important than you realize. You can even test your set up with someone before the video interview.

Tips:
> Put adequate lights in front of you to brighten your face.
> Also, put extra lights behind you for back lighting to avoid a flattened look or dark shadows behind your head.

5. Be Sharp.
Always dress for success. Take the time to dress as if you were attending in person.

Tips:
> Wear clothes or suits in solid colours and avoid busy designs and patterns.
> Minimize accessories and portray a natural look that stays consistent to the company culture.
> Dress appropriately and professionally from head to toe. Don’t make the mistake of only dressing waist up.

6. Be Brief. 
Stay to the point, speak in a conversational voice and try to have a conversation as you would in an in-person interview. Keep in mind that you need to get both right in a video interview – how you look and what you say.

Tip:
> Timing is everything. Avoid talking over your interviewer especially if there’s a slight time lag between you because of the online connection.
> Wait until you’re sure they have finished speaking. And take it slowly don’t hurry out the words.

7. Be Relaxed. 
If you aren’t used to being on camera, it can be a little overwhelming in the beginning, so just stay relaxed. Nothing can be more endearing and engaging that watching a person speak honestly and authentically about what he or she is passionate about.

Tips:
> If you are in a group interview, just focus on the one person interviewing you.
> If you find it overwhelming, don’t hesitate to ask for a time out – yourself with a case of serious nerves, take a moment and ask for a break to collect yourself.

8. Be Yourself. 

It’s OK if you slip up, don’t let one mistake throw you off. If you started off responding to an interview question and would like to correct yourself, do so and re-state your answer. They will appreciate your honesty and willingness to admit your error.

Tips:
> Do your research. And practice often. Feeling assured on-screen will need practice.
> Switch on your camera and watch yourself talk the talk.
> Have a glass of water ready – Speaking is thirsty work.
> Be yourself – Who else are you going to be?

In conclusion, video interviews are a great way to showcase your skills and your personality without leaving home. Plus, it is now trendy for hiring managers to prefer video interviews to screen candidates so go ahead, make the trend your friend.

 

Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile. Maximize Your Visibility.

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10 Easy Steps to Stay Top-of-Mind on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn continues to be one of the most effective ways to make career and professional connections. Today, a mere presence on the portal is not enough. You also need to know how to increase your visibility.

Beyond adding a professional photo, creating an informative headline, completing the summary section, adding skills, including education details and making connections, there are specific steps you need to take, to gain top-of-mind recall.

Thankfully, LinkedIn features a Profile Strength meter on the right that helps you monitor how strong your profile is. Here are 10 key points to help you improve your strength and achieve the all-star profile status on LinkedIn.

1: Use Keywords. 
You can search engine optimize your profile to get found by people searching LinkedIn for key terms with which you want to be associated. Add keywords to various sections of your profile such as your headline (the first thing people see), summary, specialties, job title, career history and personal interests.

2: Add Projects.  
A great way to show off your expertise is by adding a project or two in your Projects section. You can also add other members on the team and their name will appear as a hyperlink to their LinkedIn profile. By naming your project and inserting a URL, you can turn the title of the project into a hyperlink, leading the viewer to it.

3: Join Groups.
Identify groups related to your industry, join them and become an active participant. These groups are a valuable source of interaction. Remember to initiate or participate in group discussions. This gets your profile noticed more by others.

4: Build Networks.
Once your profile is in good shape, work on building your network. When sending in a friend request, be sure to personalize any requests to connect with how you know the person or where you met each other or who you know in common.

5: Showcase Strengths. 
What you do outside of the typical 9-to-5 time slot or official work hours says as much about you as anything else and also contributes to a higher search ranking. Liberally showcase awards, volunteer experience and other causes you care about.

6: Stay Fresh. 
Be a source of fresh content. With so much information being uploaded on the internet daily, you need to give people a reason to click through. You can stand out by providing fresh, relevant content that captures attention.

7: Update Daily. 
Think of LinkedIn as a living organism that has to be fed or watered every day. Be regular with your posts and update frequently in order to improve your exposure. Once a day is a good rule of thumb.

8: Slideshare Expertise. 
You can create a well designed slideshow and share the URL on your Project page. This will add some life and colour to your profile. Plus it increases your strength and you gain more credibility.

9: Post Videos. 
More and more professionals are constantly posting videos on their Profile page.  Now that YouTube and Vimeo have integrated, sharing videos should be easier. Simply place a video on your profile page to keep viewers on the page longer.

10: Thought Leadership. 
In today’s world, your professional online brand is key and LinkedIn can help you establish thought leadership. There’s no network more effective than LinkedIn to establish yourself as an ideas expert in your industry.

In Conclusion. 
As the number one social media platform for professionals with more than 300 million users in over 200 countries, LinkedIn’s power extends beyond resumes into the vast landscapes of professional connections, business development and beyond. Go on, optimize your profile and build a strong presence online.

7 Secrets to Crack the Hidden Job Market

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Enter the Hidden Job Market with These 7 Proven Tips.

It seems almost as if a cruel joke is being played on people desperate to find work. Most jobs getting filled these days aren’t even advertised. Instead, they’re typically part of the hidden job market — the thousands of jobs that never get formally posted but now account for up to 80% of hires, according to some estimates. So how can you get clued in to those hush-hush positions so you can apply for them?

Here are seven smart strategies to help you access the “hidden jobs” by improving your networking skills, leveraging technology and expanding your reach.

1. Change the way you network.

If you want to crack the hidden job market, you’ve got to be smarter about the way you connect with people with inside knowledge about unposted openings.

First, make networking a habit by adding new LinkedIn connections regularly. You’ll automatically increase your chances of hearing about opportunities.

Second, remember the cardinal rule of networking: Netgive, or rather give before you get. Forward articles you think could be helpful to people you know and pass on job leads you’ve heard about. Networking is about first building genuine relationships, not asking for favours.

2. Join a professional networking group.

Your fellow job seekers can sometimes be the best resources for learning about employers who are likely to hire. Most are eager to share their knowledge, knowing that others in the same boat will share in return. You can join leading voluntary organizations like CAMP Networking [www.CAMPNetworking.ca] or browse through the entire list of networks in Canada on the PINS network [www.networksforimmigrans.ca] to find the one suited for you.

3. Contact employers directly.

Yes, it is perfectly normal to contact employers directly. You have nothing to lose.

It takes effort to craft a compelling request for an interview but it’s worth the effort. Smart managers are always interested in meeting professionals who can help their employers make or save money. So figure out who the hiring manager is and be bold. Email or call to introduce yourself and explain how your background and experience would be useful there. This way, even if the company currently has a hiring freeze, you’ll be top of mind when positions do open up.

Remember, you can use LinkedIn to get introduced to the decision maker by one of your connections on the social network. You’re more likely to get your target’s attention if you get referred to him or her.

4. Sign up for Google News Alerts.

One of the best ways to learn about hidden jobs is to stay up-to-date with prospective employers. This way, you’ll be among the first to know when they lease additional office space, sign a big partnership deal or receive a new round of funding — all signs that the firm may soon be hiring.

Simply go to the Google Alerts page and type in the names of your preferred employers, decision makers and fields of interest you want to hear about. Then you’ll start receiving emails with the latest news Google has turned up.

5. Attend job fairs and conference trade shows.

These events are ideal places to mine the hidden job market. They’ll let you make new contacts who can tell you about unposted openings, help you get interviews, provide access to influencers with hiring power and discover employers in growth mode who are likely to be looking for staffers soon.

Yes, some conferences can be expensive, particularly if you’re out of work. Consider offering to work at these events as a volunteer. That way you may be able to offset the cost of attending any major conference in your field.

6. Build tight relationships with recruiters.

Consciously start building relationships with recruitment managers, especially the ones that are familiar with your industry and level of position. They may often have contracts for many positions which are never advertised.

Recruiters will be more forthcoming if you are perceived as an expert in your current industry – so do make sure that you are actively contributing to information on LinkedIn and have a robust social media profile.

7. Kijiji and Craigslist postings.

This is an often overlooked area. The obvious thing to do would be to check the ‘services’ section, but companies sometimes post Ads in the resume sections too.

Look up local Craigslist discussion forums and profession-related questions and you may just stumble upon the position you are seeking.

And one last tip: Always stay active in building your personal brand – creating a strong personal brand online and offline makes you memorable and easy to find when a manager needs someone just like you.

The hidden job of your dreams just might be hiding in plain sight — right down the hallway.

WOW Them with a Value Proposition Letter

 

 

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The Secret Weapon in a Winning Candidate’s Arsenal.

Q: How can you outshine the competition in a crowded job marketplace?
A; Bring something to the table that the others’ can’t.

Enter the Value Proposition Letter. The personal value proposition document is a well-crafted note that defines what makes you unique, highlights your skills and demonstrates how you can add value to the organization.

If you are confused between a Cover Letter and a Value Proposition Letter, remember that the former talks about what you achieved in the past while the latter highlights your skills as the ideal solution to a company’s problem.

According to wikihow.com, “Remember that cover letters discuss your past achievements, while proposition letters focus on the values and benefits that you could bring to the company if you were hired. Keep in mind that there are also instances when a combination of the two letters may be appropriate.”

When you take a Value Proposition Letter along with your resume or mail it to the hiring manager prior to your interview, it quickly sets you apart from the crowd, even before the interview begins. Here is a step by step guide to construct a strong value proposition letter.

Attract immediate attention. Begin with a question or power statement that helps you create engagement and connect effectively. For instance, “Can I help your team…, “Do you need….”, “Would you like to increase…”, or “Are you looking for a way to boost …?”

Quantify your expertise. Help employers visualize the tangible results they will get by hiring you. A great way to demonstrate how you can add value to a company is to include a numerical value that offers concrete evidence of your skills and accomplishments.

Focus on the Now. While a resume focuses on what you did in the past, a value proposition letter tells the reader what you can do right now, and hence is always written in the present tense.

Customize your proposition. Be sure to individualize your value proposition letter to fit the particular job position. Ensure that the document letter addresses what the particular organization needs, and how you can fulfill that need.

Be a problem solver. Tell them how you can address their challenges help by introducing yourself as a valuable asset. “As an accomplished Project Manager, I can transform under-performing teams to high productivity sales leaders.”

Prove it. First list down all your key skills, experiences, and accomplishments that make you a unique candidate. From this list, select a few key skills that best relate to your target position. Now share three bullet points that back up your claim. List how you can enhance productivity, streamline processes, reduce costs etc.

Stay concise. You are writing for attention, so use short sentences, bold a key word or two to draw attention, be conversational and build credibility As much as possible, use bullet points to highlight three or four key reasons why you are an ideal fit. And include a link to your online profile, be it a blog, LinkedIn Profile or any other URL to access more information about you.

End with a CTA or OTH (Call to Action or Offer to Help).

Nothing appeals like a closing statement that says..”How can I help you? or To Find out more on how I can help you accomplish…., contact…..” Close strongly.

In summary, your Value Proposition:

  • Targets a challenge that the company is facing.
  • Provides credible proof that you can help tackle the challenge.
  • Uses specific numerical facts for instant credibility.
  • Converses in a brief, concise manner.
  • Leads them to your URL that further highlights your unique strengths.

The 10 Qualities of a Smart Working Resume.

Be The Best You

Does your resume have what it takes to breach the 6-seconds barrier?

“Recruiters spend an average of six seconds before they make the initial ‘fit or no fit’ decision on candidates” – The Ladders, online career portal.

In an aggressive marketplace, average resumes get lost in cyberspace while smart resumes rise above the crowd and grab attention instantly. So what makes a resume great? And, will your resume win the six seconds battle?

Here are the top ten ways a smart resume immediately draws attention, positions you positively, communicates your value with aplomb, and sets you up to receive the interview call.

1. Makes a dramatic entry with a strong top one-third.
The eye is naturally drawn to the top third of the page and that’s why what you say in this section is very important in those crucial first few seconds.

The top third of your resume should contain the most impressive and noteworthy information about you. Ideally:

  • Your name, followed by the desired job title.
  • The basic contact information – preferably just the email ID and cell phone number along with an online link.
  • A compelling one-line brand statement that communicates your unique value and relevancy to the job opening.

2. Includes a link to your online profile.
It is becoming common practice for recruiters to anyway look up candidates online and review their profiles, so why not make it easier for them? Providing a link to your online profile, preferably your LinkedIn, blog or website URL, directs the hiring manager to the right place to find more relevant information about you.

3. Replaces the Objective Statement with a Value Proposition.
Think about this. What is the point of including a done-to-death, generic objective that claims “Energetic professional seeking challenging opportunities to leverage my skills in a dynamic organization” when it’s not adding any value whatsoever.

Why not replace it with a powerful value proposition or an executive summary – your ideal ’30-seconds elevator pitch’ that details who you are, what you’re great at, and how your skills ideally fit the job role.

4. Leverages the right keywords relevant to the job posting and your industry.
With the advent of the ATS (Applicant Tracking System), many companies use it or some other screening process to shortlist the first set of candidates. To make it to the first cut, make sure your resume features the right keywords, terminology, and key phrases that show up in job descriptions and are commonly used in your particular industry.

5. Quantifies your achievements.
Numbers are easy to remember. Don’t vaguely talk about the money you saved or brought in for your company, the projects that you delivered on time or the deals that you helped close. Add a numerical value to as many achievements and contributions as you can, in each major role mentioned in your resume.

6. Draws attention with white space and easy-to-read bullet points.
The best way to format information is to do it in a way that makes it easy to scan and train the spotlight on your key skills and relevant qualifications.

By avoiding dense blocks of text and by listing strengths, skills and achievements in three to five bullet points per job, you can automatically create white space and add elegance to your resume.

7. Uses reverse chronological order.
A dynamic profile followed by your key skills followed by your most recent job accomplishments draws the reader in and keeps him/her focused. Resumes written in this style are favoured by hiring managers because they’re able to do a quick scan and see what you have accomplished in the recent past.

8. Formats accomplishments in the STAR format.
Great story tellers often follow the STAR format – Situation, Task, Action, Result. This format also allows you to engage the recruiter by highlighting your skills and the result of your actions. Here’s an example to state an accomplishment:
“Revitalized the Client’s website with refreshing, SEO-rich content. The new site
leverages Web 2.0 and has witnessed web traffic increase by 60%”.

9. Avoids saying “references available upon request.”
The space on your resume is limited so make sure you don’t cloud it with phrases and lines that don’t add real value. Recruiters anyway know that you will provide references if they request so why state the obvious?

10. Avoids crazy fonts, colours, images or headers and footers.
As mentioned earlier in Point 4, companies use the ATS to shortlist candidates. So make sure your resume is ATS and mobile-friendly. This means, stick with basic black and white colours and regular fonts, such as Times New Roman, Arial, Verdana, or Calibri.

For the same reason, also avoid headers and footers, embedded tables, pictures, or other images in your resume. They may all look fine when you view your resume on your PC but could often get scrambled when put through an Applicant Tracking System.

Skills Employers Want: 10 Ways Newcomers Can Be Job-ready

Executive Interview

Although you may be able to tick off many of the skills that are mentioned on any given job posting, there may still be other transferrable skills that employers expect from you. Once you know what employers are actually looking for, you can easily customize your resumé, cover letter and even your job interviews to let them know that you understand their needs and that you possess the range of skills they expect.

Here are the top 10 skills hiring managers look for in today’s hyper-competitive workplace.

1. Communications expertise
No matter what the job, hiring managers continually seek candidates who possess great writing, speaking and listening skills. The ability to communicate effectively is definitely a most preferred skill and, if you can demonstrate your mastery in that, you definitely have an edge over the competition.

How you can excel:
> Make sure your resumé, cover letter and Linkedin profile communicate your proficiency in communications, with examples and testimonials. Be prepared to talk more on this subject at the interview.

2. Analytical and research skills
The ability to optimally assess a situation, gather relevant information and identify multiple perspectives is crucial to progressing in your career. Every employer is looking to hire candidates who can help him or her solve problems.

How you can excel:
> In the interview rounds, make sure you showcase your ability in coming up with multiple solutions to complex problems.
> Make sure you have some good “real story” snippets ready of how you have analyzed and solved complex problems in the past.

3. Internet, digital and social media mastery
Regardless of your industry or background, just about every job today requires a basic understanding of the internet and, more and more, social media, in addition to your prowess with word processing, spreadsheets, presentation software and email.

How you can excel:
> Remember Rome wasn’t built in a day, but it was built every day. Increase your social media proficiency day by day and regularly keep polishing your LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter profiles.
> Make sure you optimize the use of keywords and highlight your capability in these areas on your resumé and within your cover letter.

4. Flexibility and adaptability to manage multiple priorities
Your ability to adapt to rapidly changing conditions, set priorities and manage multiple work assignments is absolutely critical in almost every field. This skill has become an integral part of corporate life so make sure you articulate it at every opportunity.

How you can excel:
> You should stress that not only are you a successful multi-tasker, but that you also thrive in an environment of change.
> Demonstrate through testimonials that you have the capabilities to effectively prioritize and juggle multiple projects simultaneously.

5. Interpersonal abilities
This relates specifically to your ability to relate to colleagues, clients, customers and others, and how you share ideas, inspire others to participate, manage conflict and more.

How you can excel:
> In your resumé, include information regarding your initiatives, collaboration with co-workers, group participation and facilitating teams in previous work environments.

6. Leadership and management skills
The ability to motivate and lead others is a skill that companies definitely value in the workplace. Every employer desires a goal-driven leader who maintains a productive climate and confidently mobilizes others to meet high performance standards.

How you can excel:
> Share your top leadership and management success stories that demonstrate your ability to take charge and manage co-workers, meet goals and deliver to high standards.

7. Multicultural awareness
The Canadian workplace and society in general are becoming more diverse than ever before. If you can demonstrate your astute understanding of other cultures, you can be truly successful in the long run.

How you can excel:
> Showcase your understanding of workplace diversity and dealing with other cultures.
> Exhibit any multicultural or diversity campaigns that you have been involved in, places where you have volunteered in multicultural settings and your ability to build rapport with people from diverse walks of life.

8. Planning and organization
The ability to plan, organize, set goals and get the work done in a realistic timeframe is a must-have skill for job candidates old and new. It’s critical that you know how to take unorganized information and deliver it in a meaningful and concrete manner.

How you can excel:
> Demonstrate that you are a results-driven achiever with exemplary planning and organizational skills, along with a high degree of detail orientation.
> Share examples of how you determined the best course of action by evaluating all options, resulting in creating intelligent solutions.

9. Problem-solving, reasoning and creativity
The ability to think logically and solve problems creatively will make you a very valuable member of any team. From negotiating with clients to handling customer complaints and more, these skills are a must. Organizations daily face internal and external issues that affect the workplace. And every manager wants to hire people who can help him or her solve these problems.

How you can excel:
> In cover letters and during the interviews use the STAR Formula (Situation, Tactics, Action, Results) to show that you are an innovative problem-solver who can generate workable solutions and resolve complaints.
> Keep a set of case studies ready to exhibit your ability in finding solutions to problems using your creativity and reasoning.

10. Teamwork
Most jobs require people to work effectively in teams, so employers certainly look for previous examples of teamwork in your profile. As a potential employee, you must communicate and demonstrate that you have the ability and experience of working effectively with other people in a professional manner to achieve common targets and goals.

How you can excel:
> Show how you have been a resourceful team player in your previous assignments. Have references and testimonials of people appreciating you for building trusting relationships with customers and colleagues.

15 Winning Strategies to Find the Perfect Job via LinkedIn

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With more than 225 million members in more than 200 countries, LinkedIn, the world’s largest online professional network continues to attract two new members every second. Did you know that your LinkedIn profile is one of the first things that recruiters see when they look you up on Google? What impression is your current profile conveying to potential recruiters, employers, clients or colleagues?

Take Control
If you haven’t given your LinkedIn profile the attention it deserves, it’s time to take charge of your online professional identity. With a refurbished LinkedIn profile, you can:
• Establish your skills, experience, career information and current position
• Explore new opportunities and offer your job candidacy
• Find experts and ideas to resolve a unique business challenge
• Follow hiring information for your interesting companies
• Grow your network of contacts
• Drive more traffic to your business
• See detailed statistics on a company’s business page
• Get recommendations to make your profile more trustful
• Follow fresh topics on different unique professional groups

That said, a complete profile doesn’t mean just replicating your resumé. Here are 15 step-by-step actions to take your LinkedIn presence from OK to extraordinary.

Step 1:  Picture Perfect
Always upload a professional picture. Nothing impacts like a perfect headshot.

Step 2: Just the Name
First impressions last. Keep the name section clean and concise.

Step 3: Strong Headline
Create a strong, unique, “benefits-loaded” headline that captures attention with rich keywords that you want to be known for.

Step 4: Status Updates
Update your status frequently, weekly, even daily. Post helpful content for your target market.

Step 5: Recommendations
Contact your ex-colleagues and seniors on LinkedIn to get at least 10 recommendations. This is key for building credibility.

Step 6: Connections
Keep building your connections to up to 500 people or more. It’s not what you know, rather who you know.

Step 7: Rich Keywords
Ensure that your Summary and Profile are loaded with the right keywords. Strategically place them throughout both.

Step 8: Speak Directly
Keep it direct and address your target market with benefit statements. Every word should be positioned with that goal in mind.

Step 9: Offer Value
Offer something that appeals to your target market. Give them a free report, white paper or something of value to download.

Step 10: Promote Projects
An excellent avenue to showcase projects, products and your portfolio. Promote free reports and articles for others to download.

Step 11:  Blog Boost
Add the WordPress application to your Profile. This is a great addition to showcase your most recent blog posts.

Step 12:  Add Videos
Add the SlideShare Application to your Profile to feature videos. Introduce yourself with your own voice and face.

Step 13:  50 Skills
Think about the skills you possess and upload up to 50. Skills and Expertise should be filled with keywords.

Step 14:  Join Groups
Join groups relevant to your profession and industry. You can join a maximum of 50 groups on LinkedIn.

Step 15:  Honours and Awards
Add all Honours and Awards you have received. Use this section to promote your media or press attention.

And lastly, it’s important to constantly keep updating your profile as LinkedIn has done away with old features like Signal and introduced new changes to their platform for both professional profiles and company pages, in the last few months.

Remember, a great LinkedIn profile not only ensures you are always putting your best foot forward, it also puts you ahead of your competitors, making it possible for recruiters and great opportunities to find you faster!

10 Hot Emerging Job Trends and Tips

Hit The Ground Running , Land Your Dream Job Faster. 
The constantly evolving nature of social media, introduction of  applicant tracking systems, enhanced use of mobile phones for recruitment, heightened awareness of apps, the rise of video recruitment and many more are all contributing to the changing landscape of the recruitment industry.

Now you can hit the ground running by taking advantage of the 10 prominent trends that can truly give you the edge!

1. The rise of social recruiting. 
There is now more sophisticated use of social media to actively engage with potential candidates and determine fit than before. With social recruiting evolving to higher significance, recruiters are beginning to use social media in newer ways, including passive recruiting to identify top candidates.

This means, you as a job candidate will need to spend more quality and creative time to manage your digital footprint and make your profile searchable across all platforms.

2. The rise of mobile hiring. 
With the influx of more millennials, it is only natural for mobile phone hiring and mobile apps to find greater acceptance. Both candidates and recruiters are finding that the power of mobile is allowing them to connect with each other, any time, any place, even on the go.

Your Android or Apple device can be a powerful tool to reach out and communicate with recruiters through traditional phone calls, emails, text messages and social media. Even recruiters are texting potential candidates and both find the process easier and more convenient for themselves and also consider it professional.

3. The rise of the part-time workforce.  
Consultants, freelancers and part time workers unite. In an economy fraught with uncertainty and the recession still hovering over our heads, job seekers should keep an open mind about freelancing and temporary positions, while constantly working on opportunities to help them find a permanent job role down the road.

Although you may be longing for full-time positions, position yourself to find a suitable short term position or projects to help you keep your skills fresh, gain relevant industry experience and generate a healthy cash flow.

4. The rise of the referral. 
With recruiters being flooded with more and more resumes each day, they simply don’t have time to consider each candidate. To shortlist their ideal fit, many recruiters admit that a majority of their candidates are found through referrals.

That’s why networking is more important than ever. Making connections with industry professionals should become a healthy habit. It’s also important to ask your connections for further referrals as it is a necessary part of today’s job search.

5. The rise of the keyword. 
In 2016 more than ever, technology will play a big part in screening applicants, so it’s prudent to customize all communications with the relevant keywords gleaned from the job description or what’s current in your industry.

In other words, make sure you customize each resume based on the precise needs of the potential employer. While non-customized submissions that do not meet the criteria may get rejected, your customized resume and online profile will help you stand out – and demonstrate why you are the best fit for the role.

6. The rise of the industry thought leader. 
Not long ago, recruiters would spend 20–30 seconds to review resumes. Now, according to more than one industry survey, six seconds is the maximum a candidate can hope to get. In other words, you have six seconds to demonstrate how you can be the expert who can solve an employer’s problems.

That’s why, it’s often smart to project yourself as an industry expert, by engaging in online communication about recent trends in your industry.  Blogs are another way to attract recruiters. You can post valuable articles and also join online communities, to share valuable inputs and engage with other industry thought leaders.

7. The rise of LinkedIn. 
LinkedIn has now become more robust with the capability to link PPTs through Slideshare (slideshare.net), project files, videos, portfolios, and other useful information. This helps you project a profile that is richer, deeper and more intimate than a resume by making multimedia presentations, projects, and videos more common elements of your LinkedIn profile.

8. The rise of Facebook. 
Spend sometime surfing the net to read about the power of Facebook Graph Search and you can understand how to use this incredibly powerful platform in your job search.  Today, employers scan Facebook profiles more closely and even a job seeker’s “likes” on Facebook can provide recruiters with an accurate snapshot of his or her personality. Make sure you adjust your privacy settings correctly, so you can manage the content that you do not wish to share with recruiters.

9. The rise of Twitter.  
Twitter continues to emerge as a powerful and easy-to-use tool for job seekers and employers alike. Practice and perfect your 140-character communication line to reach out to employers and engage in industry observations. Use hash tags to help you get found. Follow important leaders in the companies and fields you are interested in. And don’t miss out on regularly looking up ‘TweetmyJobs’ – this is where many employers and even other job seekers tweet links to job.

10. The rise of YouTube. 
It’s no surprise why YouTube is becoming a favourite tool for both candidates and recruiters. A video is a great opportunity to tell a compelling story about you to attract top recruiters. Plus, the average user spends 15 minutes a day on the site and this also includes the hiring manager that you are targetting. Many organizations, educational institutions and even the military successfully use YouTube to hire candidates.

Here’s wishing you quick job success – with the many refreshing new ways to engage with employers, get noticed, and unearth new job opportunities.

5 Steps to Develop Your Unique Personal Brand for Lasting Career Success

 

Personal Branding

New to Canada and at your wit’s end trying to land a job? Amazed and dismayed at the difficulty of the entire job search process? Shocked that you are not even receiving email acknowledgments, let alone a call for an interview? Been there, done that.

The many challenges that you face while seeking job openings can be resolved by developing a strong, unique personal brand. A personal brand makes you noticed for all the right reasons, reinforces your strengths and give the employer ample reasons to hire you. It takes understanding and some work to develop your brand, but the payoff is highly rewarding, as has been proven by thousands of successful immigrants in Canada.

I like to say that our lives are the result of what we “absorb,” what we “comprehend” and how we “excel” based on that information. I call it the ACE Principle. Let’s see how it applies to personal branding for career success.

When You Absorb:
Personal branding is the most powerful self-marketing strategy for achieving career auccess. It differentiates you so you can stand out, get noticed and get hired. Branding makes you more memorable. Think about how the Nike Swoosh or the McDonald’s golden arches stand out in memory even in the midst of advertising clutter.

What You Comprehend:
Branding is not about getting your target market to choose you over the competition. It is about getting your prospects to see you as the ‘”only one that provides a solution to their challenge or fills an immediate need.” For instance, instead of posting numerous resumés online, create a compelling online presence and optimize it, so that recruiters will not only find you, but want to interview you. Change the rules of the game, attract your audience, instead of pursuing them.

How You Can Excel:
Here are five proven steps to building your authentic personal brand.

1. Self-Reflection
Before you start, you need to know what you’re beginning with. Take a moment and write down your top three attributes/selling points/unique strengths. If you can get an employer to associate three positive traits with your application, you will easily rise to the top of the applicant pool.

2. Continuous Learning
Always stay on the cutting edge. You can add a degree or a certificate to your existing credentials. Seek out a mentor who can advise you. If you are already employed, check with your employer to see if there is a budget to support your professional development.

 3. Consistent Marketing Strategy
Everything you do, or choose not to do, can communicate the value of your brand. The resumés and cover letters that you format; the emails you send; the words you speak; the clothes you wear, the way you conduct yourself in meetings … everything matters.

4. Build Relationships
Keep in good contact with your network and always make sure your network knows of any recent successes. Search out new professional associations or online communities to add to your network. Find opportunities to weave your personal mission/vision statements into conversation with your network

5. Follow-Up
Good follow-up will create a positive association with your brand. Return employers’ calls immediately (establishes trust). Respond to all requests (shows responsibility). Write a thank-you note after an interview (demonstrates courtesy). Write acceptance/decline letters upon accepting/rejecting a job. And always keep your network updated.

Evolving Brand
Building your personal branding is a constant thing and should continue to evolve  throughout your career. Remember, a successful personal brand is not about pretending to be something you are not. It is about demonstrating your unique value to prospective employers and getting recognized, chosen and rewarded for it. There is only one unique you in the entire world. Now let the world know about that!

Begin Your Resumé With a Compelling Top One-Third to Get Noticed

 

Be Empowered

A growing notion among recruiters is that the “Career Objective” statement found at the top of a resumé is becoming more and more outdated in today’s job market. They feel instead of focusing on his or her objective, the primary responsibility of the candidate should be to quickly impress upon the recruiter what he or she can bring to the table in the organization. And so an ideal resumé today replaces the “This is what I want” objective statement with a “This is the value that I offer” branding statement today.

Especially in a world where the resumé needs to get past the applicant tracking system (ATS) and score high on the preferred keyword-focused formatting, it is imperative to write something compelling and valuable in the top one-third of your resumé to stand out.

Brand yourself

A bold entry with a strong personal brand within the first five seconds, framed around your unique value and strengths, can open more doors for you.

Here are a few examples that could go right under your name.

>  Dynamic Customer Service Representative

>  Passionate Marketing Sales Head

>  Seasoned Mechanical Engineer

>  Accomplished Project Manager

>  Experienced QA/QC Analyst

The combination of a powerful job title headline followed by a positioning statement that connects your experience to the position, telling a potential employer what you can do for them, can literally make you unbeatable.

Because recruiters and employers generally spend most of their time looking at the top portion of a candidate’s resumé, you must be strategic with the content you place at the top — it should excite them to move beyond the first few lines and devote more time to reading the rest of it.

When drafting your personal brand statement, keep it tight enough to interest them, quantify your skills — mention the number of years of experience  — highlight the key areas of expertise, insert keywords that are appropriate for the job position and definitely sizzle with personality.

Here are a few examples:

> Accomplished business supplies and equipment professional with proven record of training teams and leadership development.

> High-performance, results-driven sales specialist with 8 years’ professional immigration consultation expertise.

> Energetic, passionate IT networking technologist with demonstrated skills in hardware software applications.

> Passionate sales and marketing manager with 10+ years’ successful experience in finding new leads and growing markets.

> Passionate and dynamic sales specialist with a focus on building effective relationships and driving clients to action.

> Performance-driven and self-motivated banking professional with high integrity and commitment.

Accomplished marketing, business development specialist with tested experience in diverse markets.

Sharp resumé extras
Think of your resumé as one of the arrows in your quiver. If it’s dull at the tip, you’re less likely to hit the mark. To make it sharper, it is also advisable to add a QR Code or a link to your LinkedIn profile or portfolio website link or any professional social media page — right at the top along with your email and phone number. Make sure that you make your hyperlink live as your resumé could most likely be viewed on a computer or mobile media.

At the end, it is totally your choice whether to start with an objective, summary, brand identity line or a value statement. Whatever you term it, I recommend opening the resumé with your name, the coveted job title that indicates the position you are looking for, followed by a well-defined brand slogan that sets you apart from others.