Have you come across a stranger on LinkedIn that you would like to connect with but just don’t know how to craft a message that will get them to respond? You are not alone. Everyone needs to develop their network and LinkedIn is a professional contact goldmine. Whether you are looking to develop your network to aid in your job search, expand your industry contacts, or just seek career advice, you must start with a thoughtful, professional, and brief connection message. Read on to learn more helpful LinkedIn connection tips.
The Right Way to Connect with a Stranger on LinkedIn
by Joshua Waldman on Career Attraction
Last week, I received an informational interview request from a stranger as a direct message on LinkedIn. Despite my very busy schedule, I decided to take his call.
Over the weekend, I asked myself, “Why did I agree?”
Let’s take his email apart and identify its four essential elements so you can use them in your own LinkedIn networking communications. Networking with strangers on LinkedIn can give you great results — if you’re deliberate in the process.
First, here’s the email I got over LinkedIn from J.:
I noticed we are both connected to M. F. — how do you know M.? I first met her at J.P., and she actually photographed my wedding. Small world.
I wanted to touch base with you because I saw an open position at J.R. I thought would be a great fit for me. I’m located in Portland now, and do social media strategy for a digital marketing agency here in town.
It’s a fun role, but you know how agencies are — fingers in a lot of different businesses, but no ability to truly own a marketing program. It looks like I would be able to do that with the Marketing Communications Manager role that is posted.
Would you mind if I called you some time this week to hear about your experience at J.R. and your perspective on the marketing organization there? I’d really appreciate it.
Now, let’s look at the takeaways:
1. Lead with Something in Common
J. begins his email by pointing out our mutual friend M.F., and although I know M.F. from my sister’s college days, what really got my attention was that M.F. was the photographer at his wedding.
With LinkedIn, there is a danger your first-degree connection isn’t really a close friend. I went through an Open Networking phase, and about 100 people in my LinkedIn network are complete strangers to me. Continue reading this blog article here.
We spend a lot of time and work focusing on the interview itself–preparation, appearance, timing, questions to expect and strategies for answering those questions. However, another, and sometimes as important component in the application-to-hire process is how an applicant manages what could be referred to as the “post-interview aftermath.” Sharlyn Lauby wrote a great article on Mashable that gives some great tips on the do’s and don’ts applicants should be aware of during the period of time following your interview.
5 Expert Tips for Following Up After a Job Interview
by Sharlyn Lauby on Mashable
You’re excited about the opportunity, and you want to do everything in your power to present yourself as the perfect candidate for the job; one way to increase your odds of landing the gig is to follow up in a professional manner.
Landing your dream job requires a degree of finesse, from the initial email or phone conversation to negotiating salary and signing on the dotted line. In the post-interview aftermath, you want to appear interested without crossing the line and coming across as a pest. You want to be memorable in the right way; so what does this entail?
Below, recruiting experts share their insights on the dos and don’ts when following up after a job interview.
1. Yes, You Should Follow Up
Following up is critical in showing your continued interest in a job opportunity, says Allyson Willoughby, senior vice president of people at Glassdoor, a job and career site where employees anonymously post the pros and cons of their companies, positions and salaries.
Willoughby cautions candidates against becoming a burden to the hiring manager — she stresses the importance of politeness.
“You don’t want to pester until you get an answer, but rather keep yourself in [the hiring team's] minds as they make the decision,” she says. “A great approach is to ask about their timeline for making a hiring decision before you leave the interview. This will help you to properly time your follow-up attempts. In addition, a quick ‘thank you’ [email] is always a nice touch.”
Another way to stand out in your follow-up communications is to mention recent news about the company to show that you’re keeping the job opportunity top-of-mind. This tidbit could be in regards to a blog post, industry news or something related to the job you interviewed for — it goes without saying that the news should be positive in nature; don’t send over a note with a mention of a company scandal.
2. Communicate in a Timely, Professional Manner
Nathan Mirizio, content marketing writer at The Resumator, a recruiting software company, agrees that there’s nothing wrong with sending a gracious thank-you message, unless the recruiter explicitly states no follow-ups or replies.
Mirizio suggests using the last form of communication that you had with a recruiter as the best medium for following up (i.e. phone, email, text, mail, etc.). “Go with that medium, or follow whatever instructions have been given to you. Email is always a safe bet, but always contact recruiters through their business accounts. Personal email accounts and phone numbers are for personal friends, and trying to reach [hiring managers] at home can be an awfully quick turnoff.” Continue reading this article here.
The job market is very competitive and more students are being asked to submit creative videos as a way to showcase what they can do as an intern or full-time professional in various industries. You want to be prepared for this request and can even create a video resume on your own to display on your LinkedIn Profile, personal website or other social media sites you maintain. Be sure to read the 6 tips to creating a stellar video resume that will help you land interviews offered by Todd Cavanaugh at Careerealism.com.
6 Tips For Crafting A Video Resume That Gets Interviews
With the U-6 unemployment rate currently above 13%, there are millions of Americans competing for the same jobs. That means it’s still an incredible challenge to get noticed by recruiters who are looking through hundreds of resumes a day.
I recently started a job search, and I didn’t like what was happening. For starters, I had no network in California, where I was targeting tech companies. And, despite feeling qualified for jobs, I wasn’t getting requests for interviews. I kept thinking, “If only I had the chance to show them that I can do this!”
This led me to create a video resume. Think about it: statistics say recruiters look at a resume for mere seconds before making a decision to keep it or not. What if you can get the same recruiter to watch a 60-second commercial selling you for the job? You just received 10x more exposure than others.
I decided to target Dropbox for a content creation position. I made a humorous video and set up a personal website at DropBoxHireMe.com So far, my campaign has received great feedback, so I thought I’d share with the community at CAREEREALISM some tips on how I did it.
1. Keep Production Values Extremely High
Because TV and movies are so significant in our culture, people are used to the highest production values possible. Jittery footage, bad lighting, and poor editing will sabotage your video from standing out, even if the content is excellent. But the biggest struggle for most people is sound.
For example, in a well-lit scene, even an iPhone’s video quality is good enough. But it’s the sound that will make you look like an amateur. You need to use a professional microphone and not the microphones that are built into a phone or camcorder. See if you can borrow one from your church, a DJ, or your weird uncle who always has that kind of thing. It makes a huge difference. Continue reading this article here.
Like many undergraduates, Nicole Franco knew her dream job would involve helping people, but felt unclear as to how she could do it. This past summer, she decided to intern at Christian HELP and learned a great deal about social entrepreneurship. She also gained experience in research, writing business proposals, and e-commerce.
Toward the end of the internship, Nicole even pitched and named the jewelry-making program she participated heavily in at this social entrepreneurship and sustainability initiative (SESI) designated site. She called it the Women’s Initiative for Sustainable Employment (W.I.S.E.). She denotes in a separate blog post, “The purpose of the jewelry program is to provide transitional employment for women who are active seekers by assembling jewelry and selling it online and in local boutiques.”
Below, Nicole discusses her duties in detail at Christian HELP and the skills she developed.
I can’t believe it’s already been a month since I started my internship. Time has flown by so quickly, yet I’ve learned so much within the first month. Today, I will be joining Royce, the program coordinator for social entrepreneurship at a networking event at the Citrus Club. It will give me the opportunity to work on one of my learning objectives of learning how to effectively network and create work relationships. It’s something different from what I’ve been working on for the past month, but I think it will be a great experience. It will enable me to gain a better understanding of how networking should be done and help me improve my communication skills.
Aside from networking, one of my major tasks has been to research. During my research, I have learned so much about the non-profit sector. It has enabled me to get a better understanding of how they operate and most importantly how they sustain themselves. Every now and then during my research, I have came up with several questions about non-profits. The great thing about doing an internship at a non-profit is the knowledge you receive by the hands on experience. I’ve learned about misconceptions and how to carefully select potential donors.
Another learning objective that I’ve been able to focus on is how to write business proposals. I had no idea the requirements for business proposals were so complex. In order to successfully write a business proposal, one must spend HOURS of researching to come up with specific details and come up with a logic model to facilitate the completion of the proposal. The constant changes or rewriting of the proposal is what makes it a lengthy process, but it’s definitely a gratifying feeling once all of the above has been accomplished.
One of the things that I most enjoy about my internship is that I am able to fearlessly throw my ideas to the table. It makes me feel as though my opinion is considered during the projects that are taking place. Since I have experience with e-commerce, my main focus has been on the jewelry line. Recently, I had the opportunity to join another member of the jewelry project on a “mini” shopping spree for jewelry making supplies at a local supply shop. Not only was I able to pick out supplies of my choice, but I was allowed to freely design pieces. I received positive feedback upon showing my samples to the women part of the jewelry project and other employees at Christian HELP. Creating the jewelry and doing extensive research has been one of my major accomplishments, as well as networking.
As a result of the internship, I am learning to effectively and fearlessly communicate my thoughts about projects, ideas, etc. It has enabled me to become even more passionate about social entrepreneurship. This experience has taught me so much in such a short amount of time. Not only has it enriched me but it has enlightened me. I always knew that I wanted to help the community, but taking part in the social entrepreneurship aspect of a non-profit has become my passion. I am grateful for this opportunity and can’t wait to continue learning and growing as a person.
You’re just one free download away from using Skype to interview for jobs, internships, fellowships, and more. The first step in preparing for a successful Skype interview is reading what Diane Hudson Burns recommends before, during, and after.
Preparing for a Skype Interview
Interviewing is tough enough in person – but, what about the Skype or other VTC platforms used for long-distance interviews today?
If you are going to engage in a Skype interview – there are some logistical requirements you need to prepare for in advance.
- First, do not leave anything to chance – set up your Skype software and conduct practice sessions. Update the Skype software and retain your password. Decide if you are using a headphone or speaker for the interview. Record the sessions so you can see yourself, for analysis – and ask a friend or colleague to Skype from their computer – and provide any feedback on how you look, behave, and how the lighting and surroundings look.
- Begin by deciding where you are going to hold the interview – and set up the background. Make sure to remove any messy or cluttered backgrounds. Place a small tree or plant in the background if possible – just make sure it does not overwhelm you, e.g., and make it look like you have a monster growing from your head. Continue reading this article here.
For several years, the National Association of Colleges and Employers has conducted an annual survey, asking employers who regularly hire college students to rank the qualities and skills they seek most in new hires. Below are the results from this year’s survey, showing that communication, organizing/planning, problem solving and teamwork again head this list. These, and all the top 10 skills listed below, are those that are especially well developed through the broad based, liberal arts education provided at Rollins. Can you think of ways that your experience at Rollins has helped you develop these qualities? Would you be able to describe how you gained these skills to an employer during an interview?
The Candidate Skills/Qualities Employers Want
When it comes to the importance of candidate skills and qualities, employers are looking for team players who can solve problems, organize their work, and communicate effectively, according to results of a new survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).
“Employers are seeking evidence of the soft skills needed to succeed in the workplace in the college students they’re recruiting,” says Marilyn Mackes, NACE’s executive director.
Employers responding to NACE’s Job Outlook 2014 survey rated “ability to work in a team structure,” “ability to make decisions and solve problems,” “ability to plan, organize, and prioritize work,” and “ability to verbally communicate with persons inside and outside the organization” as the most important candidate skills/qualities. (See Figure 1.) These are followed by candidates’ “ability to obtain and process information” and “ability to analyze quantitative data.”
NACE will release the Job Outlook 2014 report in the fall.
Read the full article on the National Association of Colleges and Employers site.
Submitted by Ashley Williams, Career Services Graduate Assistant
Remember when you were a kid and dreamt of training dolphins or whales? Well intern Bethany Eriksen got to live the dream this past summer with her internship at the Georgia Aquarium!
Here, Bethany reflects on her new competencies in animal husbandry, dolphin physiology and psychology, and running a marine mammal show. She also offers valuable advice to individuals shooting for a career in animal care.
Hi Everyone! As I begin my final blog post, I have learned so much this summer that I don’t know where to begin. My knowledge of marine mammal training has increased tremendously through participation in this internship. Prior to starting this internship, I had little comprehension of the steps necessary to properly train dolphins, however I now possess an extensive understanding of the professional techniques and tools of the trade for training animals. I also now have a much better grasp on what it takes to run a marine mammal show. It is incredibly fast paced, as most live show productions are, and involves a lot of running around backstage. However, unlike most productions, our shows involve animals with unique personalities who can decide to deviate from the script and perform their own adlibbed version of the show. I’ve learned to think on my toes and be ready for anything!
I have gained a lot of experience in animal husbandry by preparing the dolphin food, cleaning up the areas and maintaining their cleanliness by completing AM, PM and weekly cleaning duties, as well as assisting the trainers as they care for the dolphins. I have also gained an incredible amount of knowledge by standing back and observing how the trainers react and work through each situation with the animals. Through my internship’s lecture series, I have learned even more about dolphin physiology, training, and troubleshooting situations. I have been able to get to know a talented team of trainers who each possess a unique background and lots of experience in the field. Through conversations with them, I have been able to gain personal insight that will help me navigate this competitive field.
Moving forward, I hope to continue to learn more about the marine mammal field and about the conservation efforts of zoos and aquariums. I am interested in experiencing other animal training facilities too, to gain as many different perspectives as possible. One of my new goals is to visit Marineland, the Georgia Aquarium’s sister location in St. Augustine, FL! Check it out: www.marineland.net I believe that the more people I can talk to and the more I can learn, the more successful I will be in my future career.
As I come back to Rollins, I hope to apply this internship to my academics and Environmental Studies major. Through my study of the world’s environment, I will continue to reflect on the value of zoos and aquariums and the important role they play in addressing today’s environmental issues. My previous studies combined with this experience will help me as I persist in defining my career path and the role I hope to play in making the world a better place for animals, the environment, and people.
My advice to students interested in pursuing a career in the world of animals is to gain as much animal experience as possible through volunteering at zoos, aquariums, vet clinics, shelters, etc., but to also talk to as many people as possible. When you visit zoological parks, talk to animal care takers, animal trainers, education staff- ask them questions and try to get a feel for what each job involves so you can figure out what might be the best fit for you. Even spend a day shadowing at one of these facilities if possible. Attend an IMATA conference to meet current animal trainers and network- students are allowed to attend too!
For students interested in interning at the Georgia Aquarium, be ready to work hard, do dirty work, be a good communicator, and have a positive attitude. Above all, when pursuing any internship, don’t give up! Apply for EVERYTHING- you may not always be accepted to your ideal internship the first time, but if you are persistent you never know what may come your way.