Your Professional Bio

Your Professional Bio

There is a section when you’re filling out your LinkedIn profile, right near the top that’s called the Summary. The summary is where you talk about yourself, who you are and where you’ve worked. If you’re like most people, you find talking about yourself a little weird and you’ve spent a lot of time starring at that blank summary section wondering what exactly to write. Writing a strong bio is essential for getting people interested in the rest of your profile.

If you have Twitter you’ve come across this very same issue. Twitter offers you 140 characters for your Bio. You want to say what you’ll be tweeting about, maybe a quick joke and a nickname. There’s not much space available. You need to be concise.

Then there’s the opening section of your resume, at the very top you need a summary of who you are, what you do and what you’re good at.

Why You Need a Bio

Whether it’s for professional purposes or not, it’s good to have a Bio ready to go. In the world of work you need to be able to tell people who you are and what you’re about quickly, and directly. Here are some tips to help make writing a strong bio a little easier.

Start Personal

When people first read your bio or summary, they want to meet a person, not just a list of achievements. Share who you are, and what your area of expertise is. As Forbes puts it, “Tell Your Story”.

A story is always the best way to get people interested in you. How you got into your industry and what has drawn you to specific work is an awesome way to share your passion with others.

Move into Professional

Telling your personal story should lead into your professional story. How you got started, where you are now and where you are aiming to go. Share your passions and your professional history including your achievements and successes. Once you’ve hooked people with your personality and story, it’s time to show them you’ve got the stuff.

Write in Third Person

According to Chris Brogan, you should write your bio the third person. You want it to sound as professional as possible, so instead of writing “I studied abroad…” write “James studied abroad…” While it’s generally understood you’ll be writing your own bio, this added element of professionalism can go a long way.

Keep It Short

Some summaries are anything but. People go on and on about what they’ve done and where they’ve been. No one wants to know everything about you right off that bat. Too much text and they lose interest and move on. Focus on the things that you’re proudest of, and the things that highlight you and your accomplishments best. Most importantly, if using your bio for a specific job application, make sure you share the things that best match up with that job.

 

Whether for your resume, LinkedIn, a website – whatever, it’s always a good idea to have a bio ready to share.

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GRADUATES: Have You Applied to Jobs Yet?

If you’re about to become a graduate soon, we know that you’re probably in the middle of finishing up that final paper, attending your last class EVER or cramming for exams. Congrats in advance! But while those are all very important, did you start applying for jobs yet?

It’s never too early to get a head start because remember, the hiring process takes a few weeks or even months for some companies. If you have some time between all the chaos at school, sit down and get your resume and cover letter together and send them out to employers. This will save you a lot of time, as you’ll be employed either right out of school or a few weeks or months afterwards.

Graduates should talk to a career counselor:
These people are here to help you. They’re also included in the tuition that you paid for at the beginning of the year. So why not take advantage of their service and get advice from them? Counselors get very busy around this time and the months leading up to graduation so give them a call first and schedule an appointment.

Graduates should start connecting with people on LinkedIn:
Create a professional profile and include a professional picture of yourself. Send requests to hiring managers and current employees in the industry you want to get in to. You can also start getting in touch with other supervisors or leaders whom you worked with in any of your past internships. Shoot them an email and ask if there are any job openings. If there aren’t any, tell them you’d like to keep in touch so when an opportunity does pop up, they can refer you.

Graduates should apply for internships to gain experience:
You don’t necessarily have to find a full-time job after graduation. If you have minimal or no experience at all, intern at a few places for a few months. But don’t forget to keep applying for jobs during this time. In the meantime, build a personal but professional relationship with employees there for a better chance to get hired in the company you are interning at.

Good luck on your journey as you start the next chapter of your life!

 

Social Media Series (Part 2): Best FREE Job Apps for Your Phone

Most things are mobile friendly these days and people take their phones with them wherever they go. So why not use it to apply for jobs? Download these free apps and apply on the go!

Job Board Phone Apps
Known job boards that are now mobile friendly.

Indeed: The biggest job search engine in the world right now and it’s very user friendly on your mobile device. Receive job alerts straight to your phone and you can also upload your resume from there. If you see something suitable to your friend, there is a button for you to email it to them, again, through your phone.

CareerBuilder.com: The great thing about this app is that you can search jobs by description, keywords or salary. But that’s not all! It also allows you to search for job openings nearby with GPS capabilities.

BeKnown: A professional networking site launched by the popular job board, Monster. BeKnown is an app where you can view individual profiles, connect with them and see their recent updates. You can also use this app to search for jobs on Monster.com/ca

Social Media Phone Apps
People use LinkedIn so often that they may not think that it could be a very useful tool for job hunting.

LinkedIn: If you’re a LinkedIn user, you already know that there is a job board section       on their website. If you download the app, you can search jobs like you normally do on your computer. You can also save jobs to apply to them later and obviously connect with others wherever you go.

Twitter: Using proper hashtags (NOTE: Please hyperlink “Using proper hashtags to blog title “Social Media Series (Part 1)”] will narrow down your job search. A list of positions will appear in the “discover” section of Twitter on your phone. Use hashtags such as #jobs #hiring or #[position name].

Other Awesome Phone Apps
Primarily used on mobile devices.

TweetMyJobs: The cool thing about this app is that it uses the GPS to locate where you are on the map and automatically populates the map view with current jobs nearby. It then gives you the option to view it “as a map”, “street view” or “list view”. You can also select the “search range” for jobs, whether it’d be a 3 or 20-mile radius from your location.

Proven: Allows you to search and apply for jobs on Craigslist and Indeed on your phone and you can also upload your resume and cover letter. The app also attracts applicants.

JobServe: Your job search can get very specific by using this. You can search for jobs with a number of filters: how long the job has been posted, salary, industry, permanent, full-time or contract, location and keyword.

 

 

Social Media Series (Part 1): How to Search for Jobs on Twitter & Facebook

In this first part of our social media series, we will show you how to expand your job search to social media platforms. Companies have recently expanded their job advertisement strategies and turned to social media to recruit talent. Many of them even have a separate account specifically for posting jobs and other branding materials to attract job seekers. We all know that LinkedIn is commonly used social media page for jobs is LinkedIn. But did you know that Facebook and Twitter could also be valuable sites to find a job?

Facebook
With over half a billion users worldwide,using Facebook is a great way to attract talent.

Search the company’s Facebook job page: Most companies nowadays have a Facebook page if they’re smart with their marketing strategies. Some larger ones even have a separate Facebook page just for positing jobs or a separate tab below their ‘cover photo’ next to their ‘page likes’. It is usually labeled as “We’re hiring” or “Careers”

To make things easier, search “[company name] Facebook jobs” in your Internet browser and usually the company’s Facebook page will pop up (if they have one). Make sure you include the word “jobs” so your browser can distinguish between the company’s Facebook page and their Facebook jobs page. You can also go on the company’s official website and look for them on Facebook. The icon is usually located at the top or bottom of the site or in ‘Contact Us’.

Navigating on the company’s Facebook job page: Once you’re in the jobs page, there will be a search bar for you to type in the position you desire and the location you want to work in. Another way to search for jobs is to click on their ‘current job openings’ and see if anything is suitable or narrow it down by categories.

Twitter
Even though Twitter is a bunch of continuous tweets with only 140 characters, there are still effective ways to utilize this platform to find jobs.

Search the company’s Twitter job page: Just like Facebook, some companies will have a separate Twitter page strictly to tweet out their job openings. Again, type in “[company name] Twitter jobs” in your web browser. The company’s Twitter handle will usually contain the word ‘jobs’ in it to distinguish from their main Twitter page.

Use #hashtags to search for jobs on Twitter: Ah, the famous number sign – the hashtag. It is the most effective way to search for anything on Twitter without scrolling through endless tweets. But to narrow your search to jobs only, type in these common hashtags in the search bar: #jobs, #hiring, #[job title], #[name of industry], #[location of job], #[company name], #jobopening. Companies will use some of these hashtags in their tweets when they post a job to make it easier for candidates to find it.

Tune in for part 2 of our Social Media Series tomorrow about different kinds of job boards and apps you can use for Facebook job searches.

Job Fact Friday: Social Media

Social media is quickly becoming the new job search tool. Generation Y has made social media such a large part of their lives that companies are picking up this trend and posting jobs on social media websites. Common ones include Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google Plus. So the next time you’re browsing online, make sure you don’t neglect the job postings on social media. They’re just as legitimate as the jobs that are posted on other online job boards or the career section in newspapers and magazines.

Tip Tuesday: How to Properly Network

It’s not always about what you know, but it’s about who you know. Networking is so important because the more relationships you form with people, the better chances you will have to finding a job. Here are some tips on how to successfully expand your network circle and increase your chances of landing the right opportunity:

1. Talk to everyone inside and outside of work: Whether it is in a professional or casual environment, always let people know that you are looking for a job. Do not ask them directly for a position, but tell them about your career goals, aspirations, and what kind of job or company you have dreamed about working for. The main idea is to have people keep you in the back of their minds. So when there is a job opening, they will remember what you told them and possibly refer you.

2. Get to know the right people: Although it is important to let as many people know that you are currently looking for a job, it is also important to talk to the people who have authority in their current position. These people include hiring managers, supervisors, owners, assistants, HR employees, and long time trusted employees. If you network with any of these people, you are one step closer to landing an opportunity because those are the people who have the influence or power to decide who to hire.

3. Attend professional social meetings and conferences: There are many events that are designed for networking and meeting new people. Expand your network by attending these events and improve your socialization and mingling skills. Many people who attend these gatherings have authority in some way or know someone who have the power to hire candidates.You want to look and act professional in order to give a good impression. So suit up, turn on your social game and meet people!

4. Hand out business cards (as well as collect other people’s business cards): People will take you more seriously if you hand out your business card at a professional networking event. It shows initiative and that you are worth something. It is also very important to ask them for their business card so you can keep in touch. If you don’t want to spend a lot of money on high quality cards, you can easily design it on Microsoft Word and print out a few for the event.

5. Keep in touch: So you’ve spoken to everyone, gotten to know the right people and collected  their contact information. The best thing to do next is to keep in touch with them so they remember who you are. This must be done professionally so do not add them on Facebook, Twitter or any kind of social media where your personal life is displayed. The best professional social network, and also another way to expand your circle of people, is to add them on LinkedIn. You can correspond with the people you’ve met through there or by email. Let them know that it was nice meeting them and reiterate what you two talked about and how you were interested in what they said. Be polite and eventually they may refer you to a position if something comes up.