Tag Archives: Job Search Help

How Recent Grads Should Handle Their Social Media

For recent college graduates who are now fully invested in the job search, social media can be either a blessing or a curse.

On the one hand, it can provide invaluable networking opportunities, chances to connect, to stay in touch, and to discover new opportunities. This is especially true if you know all the right social media tools to use.

Then again, when it’s used unwisely, social media can undercut your professionalism—and cause you to lose out on those opportunities. It’s all but certain potential employers will check out your online profiles before hiring you—and if all they see are those slovenly photos from your most recent spring break, that could be trouble!

So what should recent grads do about social media? And, what shouldn’t they do? Here are a few tips from the Grammar Chic, Inc. team.

What You Should Do on Social Media

We’ll start with the positives.

  1. Check your privacy settings. There’s nothing wrong with sharing personal photos with your close friends—but are those photos also visible to potential employers? Are you sure? Check your privacy settings to be sure.
  2. Search yourself. Do a quick Google search for your own name, and simply see what comes up. This might call up some older social media posts or Tumblr entries you want to delete!
  3. Create at least one strong, professional social media profile. Use LinkedIn to put your best foot forward, and to convey your professionalism and passion.
  4. Double and triple check your spelling and grammar. Sloppy writing on your LinkedIn page may cause you to get looked over for someone just a little more detail-oriented!
  5. Familiarize yourself with LinkedIn’s job search tools. Again, there are many great resources out there, for anyone willing to learn them.

What You Shouldn’t Do on Social Media

Now, the flipside.

  1. Don’t share a lot of controversial opinions. If you like talking about religion and politics on Facebook, be very careful with those privacy settings.
  2. Don’t complain. Even if you’re currently working a retail job you don’t especially care for, keep negativity off your feeds. Nobody wants to hire a complainer!
  3. Don’t think a LinkedIn profile replaces your need for a resume. While some information can be the same, for a successful job search, you really need both!

Whether you need help building that resume or getting your LinkedIn profile up to speed, our resume writing team is here to help. Reach out to Grammar Chic, Inc. today to discuss your job search needs; contact us at www.grammarchic.net or 803-831-7444.

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Getting the Job (When You’re Not Really Qualified)

Few things are more discouraging than seeing an open job position that sounds just perfect for you—the kind of role you want, at a respected company, with great benefits—only to find that you’re not technically qualified for it. The recruiter wants five years of experience, and you just have two; or, there’s a list of specific skills needed, and you only possess a handful of them.

A lot of jobseekers run into situations like these and just move on. Of course, that’s perfectly reasonable—but here’s the thing: Underqualified people get hired for great roles all the time—and often, they end up really excelling.

So what can you do to make yourself competitive for a position that, on paper, you’re not suited for? Here are a few tips.

Going Beyond Your Qualification

Show off the skills you do have—enthusiastically.

The recruiter has a list of skills that they want to see—but your job is to take their mind off that list and focus them on your list. Use your resume to sell yourself, highlighting the breadth of your experience and the wide range of things you can do well. Focus on the value you offer, and the specific achievements you’ve had. Build a case for yourself as a uniquely talented and multi-faceted applicant.

Emphasize your potential.

You may lack some of the technical skills needed for the job, it’s true—but that doesn’t mean you can’t learn them. Use your resume to showcase the fact that you’re a quick study and an eager learner. Show off your continuing education and the ease with which you adopt new talents.

Provide context.

You can use a strong cover letter to fill in the gaps and really convince the recruiter that your candidacy is serious. Paint the big picture, portraying yourself as a talented and enthusiastic applicant who is ready and able to learn new things and really grow into the role.

Be a positive force in your interview.

When you sit down for the job interview, that’s when you really have to sell yourself effectively—shifting focus away from the ways in which you fall short of the requirements, and toward all the ways you shine. Avoid negative phrasing (“I’ve never done,” “I don’t know,” etc.) in favor of positivity: “I’d love to work on,” “I’m eager to learn,” etc.

Reach Higher

You may not be the best candidate on paper, but that doesn’t mean you have to take no for an answer. A solid resume and cover letter can get you in the door, and convince hiring managers that you’re just the right person for the job. Get your resume materials up to snuff with a little help from our team; contact Grammar Chic at 803-831-7444 or http://www.grammarchic.net.

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How to Write a Post-Interview Thank You Note

Job interviews are all about making a positive impression—and that’s something you can do even once the interview itself is technically over. Within a day or two of your job interview, send a thank you note to the person you interviewed with. It doesn’t matter whether the interview was a triumph or a total disaster; it doesn’t even matter whether you still want the job or not. You never know when you might encounter someone from that organization again, and it’s simply wise to make sure you leave that strong impression.

Before You Leave the Interview

Even before you exit from the interview, one thing you can do is ask everyone you’re interviewing with for a business card. That way, when you send thank you notes, you don’t leave anyone out—and you don’t get anyone’s name wrong! At the very least, take an extra minute to confirm that you have all the names right before you leave the office.

How to Write Your Thank You Note

As for actually composing your thank you note, here are some tips to keep you on the straight and narrow.

  • Send an individual thank you note for everyone you interview with—not just one blanket thank you for the group. That personal touch goes a long way!
  • If at all possible, send your thank you note within 24 hours of the interview—48 at the very most.
  • Mention specifics. Make note of something about the company you found to be exciting, e.g., “I was excited to hear about New Client A,” or “I think new app B sounds like a tremendous asset.”
  • Highlight a particular skill or achievement from your own resume that you think will align with the position in question.
  • Affirm once more why you feel as though you’re a good fit for the position.
  • Make sure each thank you note is unique! Remember that the people who receive them may compare them, so you don’t want each thank you note you send to be a generic form letter.
  • Keep the letter fairly brief and straight to the point; you want to reaffirm your thankfulness for the interview and your interest in the position, but you don’t need to belabor things. A good thank you note is usually a paragraph or two.

Always Send a Note

Again, it’s always good to send a thank you note—even if you don’t really want the position. Keep those impressions positive—and your bridges from burning.

By the way: Sending your thank you note via email is almost always acceptable, unless you know the company to be especially formal or old-fashioned—like a law firm, perhaps.

And if you need help composing a robust, effective thank you note, we encourage you to use our team. Grammar Chic, Inc. can help you craft the perfect resume, cover letter, and yes, even the perfect thank you note. Reach out to us today to learn more: 803-831-7444, or www.grammarchic.net.

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4 Job Search Worries You Can Stop Stressing About

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Seeking new employment can be stressful—especially when you’re not already earning a paycheck somewhere. That stress cannot be totally mitigated, but perhaps it can be reduced. At the very least, jobseekers can stop stressing about the things that just don’t matter, saving their worry and their attention for the bigger, more significant issues.

In other words: Know what you should legitimately be concerned about, and what you can let go of. We’ll offer a few quick examples of the latter—four things that many jobseekers worry about, but really don’t need to.

Job Search Anxieties You Can Let Go

  • The occasional gap on your resume. While it’s certainly problematic to have a resume riddled with holes, a few short gaps here and there—especially ones in the distant past—are really nothing to fret about. Maybe you took three months off from your career to care for an ailing parent, or you took a sabbatical while you returned to school. An employer may very well ask you about these gaps, but all you have to do is give your explanation, and the employer will almost surely understand. It’s nothing to get hung up about.
  • Requests to contact your current boss. You may be asked if the hiring manager can get in touch with your current employer, as a reference—and you may prefer that this not happen. More likely than not, your job search is something you’d rather keep secret. The good news is, employers understand that, and declining this request is perfectly normal. Don’t hesitate to ask the hiring manager not to let the cat out of the bag with your current boss.
  • Jobs left off your resume. In the interest of telling your story, as succinctly as possible, you may want to omit a job listing or two from your resume—and that’s okay! Now, should you leave off a major job that leaves a seven-year gap on your resume? Probably not. But if you need to cut off your summer internship from back when you were 18, well, that’s not likely to be an issue.
  • An unwieldy list of references. You may have former employers or colleagues on your list who have since moved on, or even retired. Contacting them might be challenging—but that’s not really your concern. When a hiring manager asks you for references, he or she is only asking for your permission to contact those folks. The logistics aren’t your concern!

Another way to eliminate worry from your job search? Make yourself confident by getting a sparkling new resume. Start the process today by contacting the Grammar Chic team! You can reach our resume writing pros at 803-831-7444, or at www.grammarchic.net.

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4 Ways You’re Unintentionally Slowing Your Job Search

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Job hunting is usually not a very casual business: More likely than not, if you’re seeking a new job it’s because you desperately need or fervently want one, sooner rather than later. You don’t have the luxury of time, and you wouldn’t dream of doing anything that would slow your process.

Or at least, you wouldn’t do it on purpose—but what if you’re accidentally impeding your own progress, using job search strategies that slow things down rather than move things forward?

Strategies that Slow Your Job Search

We’ll show you what we mean. These are just some of the approaches that can add days, weeks, or even months to your quest for employment—in other words, strategies you’ll want to avoid!

Taking a shotgun approach to applications. Applying for every job you see may seem like a great idea, but actually it decreases, not increases, your odds of finding employment. That’s because you spend way too much time applying for jobs you’re not suited for or wouldn’t really want. It’s far better to make a targeted list of employers and to really be judicious about the companies you apply to, and then to pour more time and effort into those companies.

Sending generic resumes and cover letters. As you target specific employers, you’ll want to make sure your resume and cover letter matches, which means tweaking each one to fit the company you’re applying for. Generic resumes and cover letters are easy to spot and may make the hiring manager think you’re unserious about the position—which means your application is really just a waste of your time.

Submitting resumes that are way too long. For the vast majority of jobseekers, a good resume length is somewhere between one and two pages. There are rare instances where more than two pages is fine, but—unless you’re a C-suite executive or a PhD—you’re probably wasting time and turning off employers when you send them lengthy, rambling resumes.

Neglecting your LinkedIn page. Think social media is a waste of time? Think again. Most employers now do their homework online before they call you in for an interview—so if your profile isn’t optimized, you may be missing a lot of opportunities. Spending an afternoon tweaking your LinkedIn page can be a significant investment in your job search success.

To speed up your job search, move on from these unproductive strategies—and if you need help, don’t hesitate to ask us! Reach out to Grammar Chic at www.grammarchic.net, or 803-831-7444.

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How Jobseekers Sabotage Their Own Interviews

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When seeking employment, there are many hurdles and hardships to deal with—but often, jobseekers are their own worst enemies.

In particular, there are a number of ways in which jobseekers throw a wrench into their own interviews, sabotaging themselves and lowering their chances of landing a new gig.

Some of the biggest sources of self-sabotage are listed below.

No. 1: Failing to prepare an elevator pitch.

“So tell me about yourself.” Your job interview may well begin with this very question—and if it doesn’t, you’re sure to hear some variation on it. So how will you answer? This is not the time to stumble and stammer. This question is an invitation for you to offer a clear, confident, and concise statement of who you are as an employee—and to transcend the facts and figures on your resume.

No. 2: Not asking any questions.

The job interview is not just a chance for the hiring manager to ask you questions; it’s also a chance for you to learn a bit more about the company. If you don’t chime in with some questions of your own, at interview’s end, then you’re squandering an opportunity—but worse, you’re coming across to the interviewer like you’re apathetic or unengaged.

No. 3: Talking trash about your current employer.

Maybe you don’t much care for the job you have now. That’s fine—but be diplomatic in how you express it. The interviewer does not want to hire someone who is prone to negativity or to complaining. If you complain about your current job, who’s to say you won’t complain about your next one?

No. 4: Having a resume you can’t stand behind.

Questions about your resume are bound to arise—so make sure you know what it says! Are there any positions on the resume you don’t want to talk about? Any claims you can’t back up? Any resume buzzwords that you can’t define? A poor resume can sabotage you, even during the interview process.

Get on the right track today by having a resume consultation. Contact Grammar Chic’s resume team at 803-831-7444, or visit www.grammarchic.net for more!

 

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