Professionals often praise LinkedIn, and with good reason. The social media website's press page states that it has more than 225 million members worldwide. This means that job seekers could take a career test, find out what line of work is right for them and then join LinkedIn and start making valuable connections in the field they wish to enter.
However, as job seekers may be connecting with total strangers, they will want to make a strong first impression. The key to doing so is having a LinkedIn profile that grabs individuals' attention. According to CBS MoneyWatch, one of the best ways to do this is to use LinkedIn's Professional Portfolio feature.
"Customizing your profile on LinkedIn will make it much more compelling to view by your community as well as by hiring managers, clients and colleagues," Nicole Williams, LinkedIn's career expert, told the news source. "This feature truly lets your work speak for itself."
LinkedIn users who take advantage of Professional Portfolio have a chance to imbed images, videos and presentations in their work history. Overall, this provides visitors to their profile with a more visually pleasing and informative experience, which, in turn, could help job seekers get ahead.
After many years spent at home raising their children, some parents believe it is time for them to return to the workforce. However, this is easier said than done for moms and dads who have not held a regular job since before their kids were in diapers.
Fortunately, there are ways for individuals to ease their transition from stay-at-home parent to a member of the workforce. WTOP suggests parents take some time to reassess themselves and their abilities. Taking a career test is one way job seekers can get to know themselves better and the skills they posses.
To become a more desirable job candidate, parents should make sure they are using the right tools. For example, LinkedIn may not have existed the last time they held a job, but a profile on this social media website can help them get ahead. In addition, a strong resume has the potential to help them shine, so the news source suggests they update it and ask someone to read it over.
Some parents may have concerns about how a long absence from the workforce will appear to potential employers. However, Kathy Woods, a senior partner at Korn/Ferry Leadership and Talent Consulting, told Fox Business they should own it and instead explain it to an interviewer right away so it shows they have nothing to hide.
When job seekers want to know if they have what it takes to land a good job that pays a high salary, they may take a career test to gain insight into the skills they possess. For these individuals, thinking back to their early days as math and reading students may also be a good idea, as how people performed in math and reading classes can predict their future success, according to a recent study.
Stuart Ritchie and Timothy Bates, psychological scientists at the University of Edinburgh in the U.K., set out to see how people's early math and reading skills influenced their professional lives in adulthood. Based on data from more than 17,000 individuals, the effects were quite significant.
If study participants possessed higher math and reading skills at the age of 7, they were more likely to live in nicer homes, hold better jobs and earn higher salaries. In fact, going up as little as one reading level at 7 years old was associated with a $7,750 salary increase at the age of 42.
It is graduation season for college students nationwide. For those who have yet to secure employment, the coming weeks will likely be dedicated to the job search. As many students may not be very familiar with the interview process, or understand the benefits of a taking a career test, this can be a confusing time. Fortunately, there is plenty of advice available to soon-to-be graduates who are looking to land a job.
Here are a few tips graduates may be able to put to use during the hunt for employment:
Start searching immediately
After four or more years in college, graduates certainly deserve a break. However, they need to keep in mind that the job search can be a lengthy process. This is why U.S. News & World Report recommends degree holders start looking for work now. Individuals who begin looking in May might still be searching for opportunities when fall rolls around. As a result, taking a breather after graduation is fine, but jobs should never be far from graduates' minds.
Become more organized
Since graduates are unlikely to land a job overnight, the Washington University in St. Louis advises individuals to tackle their job searches in small, attainable steps. According to a post on the institution's website, graduates should devote a specific amount of time each day to looking for work. Organization will be key during this period, so job seekers should use folders, spreadsheets and anything else that can help them keep track of contacts and where they have applied.
Spend some time online
Once students earn their diploma, they are no longer in college, and their social media websites should reflect that. The weeks that follow the end of college are the perfect time for graduates to overhaul their online presence. Any inappropriate pictures or videos should be removed from websites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, as potential employers are likely to check these pages. At the same time, those who do not have a profile on LinkedIn should set one up as soon as possible.
Don't be desperate
After a few weeks pass, graduates who have not received a single job offer may begin to panic. While it is tempting to apply to every job they come across, this can make individuals seem desperate. They may be more likely to get hired, but will it be for the right job? U.S. News & World Report suggests graduates only apply to positions they are truly qualified for. The results of a career test can help them identify the types of professions that are right for them.
Job seekers may feel as though they took all the right steps to getting hired: They networked, completed a career test and were on their best behavior during their interview. Then, these individuals receive word that the position they applied for will be filled by someone else. While job candidates are sure to feel a range of emotions after being rejected, it is important for them to not let anger or sadness get the better of them and continue to charge ahead.
Fox Business reminds job seekers that what they have experienced is just a minor bump in the road. Rejection is inevitable, so they should not dwell on it and stay focused on their career goals instead.
If individuals do want to dwell on the job they were not chosen for, the time they devote to it should at least provide some insight into why they were not hired. The news source suggests rejected job candidates reach out to the employer and ask for feedback.
Sometimes, just hearing a company's feedback is enough to make rejected candidates feel like they dodged a bullet. U.S. News & World Report states that hiring managers are not perfect. Maybe they made a mistake or misjudged a spectacular applicant's worth. Either way, job seekers should not feel as though they will never get hired just because of a rejection.
In the past, employers who were looking to hire may have had to settle on candidates who lived in close proximity to the office they would be working out of. Today, however, technology has made it very convenient for companies to find the best candidates possible. It no longer matters if they reside nearby or several states away.
Whether these individuals plan to work remotely or relocate, it is likely their potential employers will want to get to know them before they make any final hiring decisions. This is when conducting interviews using voice and video services, such as Skype, can come in handy for companies. For the candidates themselves, these online meetings can make or break their chances of landing a job, so they are going to want to be prepared.
To ensure a successful online job interview, individuals should consider the following dos and don'ts:
Don't just wing it
These days, landing a job is no easy task. For some people, the job search can last for months, and include everything from attending networking events to taking a career test. As scoring an interview is such a big opportunity in a volatile economy, very few job seekers who receive this shot at gaining full-time employment are likely to go into one without any preparation.
Just because candidates are doing their interview over the internet is no reason why the rules should be any different. In fact, preparation is even more important as applicants will be dealing with technology, such as computers and voice and video software.
Do prepare ahead of time
A lot can go wrong during any type of interview - but especially during one that is taking place in front of a computer screen. In addition to doing a few dress rehearsals with friends to make sure every piece of technology works, CBS MoneyWatch recommends asking the interviewer if the connection is clear before things get underway.
"It is in your best interest not to proceed if technical difficulties present themselves as the interviewer will be challenged in focusing on your responses and it has the potential to reflect poorly on you," Lynda Zugec, The Workforce Consultants' managing director, told the news source.
Individuals have a lot to keep in mind when preparing for an online interview. Are they in the same time zone as the interviewer they will be speaking with? Will they be expected to participate in more than one online session? Ultimately, candidates should never assume they have all the facts.
Do seek clarification on interview details
To avoid interview surprises, Mashable suggests candidates verify important details regarding their meeting, including its date, time, name of the interviewer and whatever materials or information they will need to have handy. The more applicants know, the better the odds of succeeding during their online interview.
Don't forget to straighten up
While interviewers will be focused on job candidates, their eyes will certainly wander if they see an unmade bed or overflowing garbage can in the background. A messy backdrop can say a lot about an individual, at least in the eyes of potential employers.
"You'll be painting a picture of a disorganized person who lets things pile up," Bill Horne of William Warren Consulting, told CBS MoneyWatch.
Do pick the right location
Rather than sitting in front of a cluttered backdrop, job candidates should select a clean and organized space that will show interviewers they are mature and responsible adults. This means a home office or living room, and certainly not a bathroom.
In addition, individuals need to keep their family, roommates or pets out of the background for the duration of their interview or risk a few comical, but ultimately detrimental, distractions.
"I was once interviewing a candidate via Skype who was perfectly presentable with regard to her physical appearance, but her cat kept walking across the background," Jennifer Johnson Scalzi, the founder of J. Johnson Executive Search Inc., told the news source.
The deadline to file individual tax returns - April 15 - has passed. However, that does not mean it is too early for people to start thinking about next Tax Day. In fact, if they are currently looking for a job, or plan to do so soon, they should know that hunting for employment opportunities is tax deductible.
Many job seekers may not realize it, but the various steps they take to find work, from signing up for online classes to taking a career test, are often deductible. As a result, they are going to want to keep track of everything they do during their search for employment.
According to the IRS' website, individuals who are searching for a job while holding another can deduct whatever expenses they incur while preparing and mailing copies of their resume, signing up for help with employment and outplacement agencies, or traveling in search of new opportunities.
CBS MoneyWatch states that job seekers may also be able to deduct any costs they accrue while making calls related to their employment search. In addition, any fees they have to pay to attend job fairs or networking events can also be written off.
With the school year coming to a close, seniors nationwide will soon graduate and enter the job market. Based on a recent Apartment Guide survey of soon-to-be graduates, finding work is a top priority.
According to the survey's results, 80 percent of students have jobs on their mind, and are willing to move to whatever city has a job for them. For this reason, it may be in these individuals' best interest to take a career test, figure out what type of profession is right for them and find a city that can offer them opportunities in this line of work.
Of course, if helps if students know which cities are considered to be the best for young job seekers like themselves. Fortunately, Rent.com recently released a list of what it considers to be the 10 best cities for college graduates in 2013.
The list, which appears on Forbes' website, provides students with information on each city's mean annual income, median price for a one-bedroom apartment and unemployment rate. For example, those who are thinking about moving to Boston, Massachusetts, can expect to pay around $1,590 for a one-bedroom apartment and encounter a 5.9 percent unemployment rate.
Of the entries on the list, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota, has the lowest unemployment rate - 5.1 percent. The other cities on the list are Atlanta, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Raleigh, Seattle, St. Louis and Washington, D.C.
There are many things job seekers can do to prepare for an interview, from taking a career test to researching the company they have applied to. However, no matter how ready they think they are, some interviews just do not go according to plan.
However, rather than sulking after a bad job interview, individuals should pick themselves up and view their experience as an opportunity to learn. Here are a few steps job seekers can take after a bad interview that can prepare them for their next one:
Identify what went wrong
A job interview can take a turn for the worse for any number of reasons. To pinpoint the exact moment when things took a nosedive, CBS MoneyWatch recommends job candidates lay out each stage of their interview in writing. This process allows people to vent their frustrations, identify what they could have done better and, ultimately, move on.
"The worst thing you can do is talk about it non-stop and dart from moment to moment about what went wrong," J.T. O'Donnell, a career expert, told the news source.
Seek out professional advice
Sometimes, individuals are too close to their interview experience to see what went wrong. If this is the case, they may want to consider turning to someone who can provide a new perspective on their interview, such as an interviewing specialist, the news outlet suggested. When job seekers go down this route, they may be able to figure out what they are doing right, and how they can improve and become the best job candidate possible.
No one is perfect
The job search is filled with ups and downs, so individuals who seek employment opportunities need to understand that they are not perfect. Not everything will go their way, and beating themselves up following a bad interview solves nothing. Forbes recommends people accept their mistakes and look ahead.
"This will help you to play better in the game in the future," Sylvie Stewart, an assistant director of career services at the University of Dayton, told the news outlet.
There is no denying that job interviews can be stressful. However, as long as individuals keep a level head before, during and after they meet with a representative from a potential employer, they can avoid some of the problems that keep other job seekers from achieving their career goals.
Some job seekers go into an interview ready to say and do whatever they can to impress company officials and get hired. Others are not so extroverted. This does not mean candidates who are a little on the shy side do not deserve the positions they apply for. They just need to know how to make the right impression.
For example, as introverted individuals may not be very talkative, CBS MoneyWatch suggests they let their interviewer do the talking. Job candidates can ask open-ended questions, such as those related to the types of challenges a company faces, and then listen to the response. When appropriate, job seekers can chime in with examples of how they tackled similar challenges.
At the same time, the news source highlights the power of the non-verbal clue. Simple actions, such as a confident smile and a firm handshake, can reveal a candidate's level of interest in a position.
Body language is also important. Business Insider advises shy job candidates to sit up straight, make eye contact and avoid playing with their hands.
Shy individuals may feel more comfortable interviewing for a position they are a good fit for. As a result, it may be a good idea for them to take a career test before they begin their job search.
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