Jobs: Top 5 web platforms to get noticed on March 27, 2012Posted by Andrew Falconer in : Selection Process, employability and skills , add a comment
Do you know your plaxo from your digg? Is Facebook still “where it’s at”? Non-plussed about Google +? These questions are hard enough when keeping track of your social life, but need a lot of thought before being used as a job-hunting tool.
With so many different web platforms to choose from, which are more effective for raising your profile and getting noticed by a prospective employer? The difficulty is that these platforms change, develop, grow or collapse. Putting all your eggs in one basket is probably not the best solution, but focusing your efforts on one or two and having a stand-by is more realistic.
First of all, why bother? Well I have already posted on why it’s worth bothering about LinkedIn but it’s worth looking at the issue more generally. According to Jobvite, in the USA nearly 90% of companies are planning to use social networks to find job candidates, up from 83% a year ago. This trend, I suspect, would also been seen in the UK. Social media tends to be cheap, very easy to target and fast.
When you’re thinking of social media you need to think about your target market. What do they use? Not every industry will use the same sites, and different sites are more popular in different countries. Do your research.
So our Top 5…. (more…)
Advertising internship markets me better February 16, 2012Posted by Andrew Falconer in : Marketing, Advertising & PR, career profiles, employability and skills, networking , add a comment
Royal Holloway Geography student Jack Smale blogs about his internship in education advertising.
My summer internship with a digital advertising company gave me a real insight into the world of advertising specialising in the education sector, and I gained a clear understanding of the competitive and target-driven nature of the sales side of the business. I learned a great deal about the importance of building business relationships, and was given the opportunity to go out and meet a number of clients. Perhaps most importantly though, I experienced what working a nine-to-five job was actually like, and how I would have to adjust my lifestyle after graduation to fit in with the corporate world.
During the three months I spent in the company’s Southwark offices, I worked on a number of projects, which included carrying out preliminary research into accountancy recruitment for a new ACCA-branded website (now launched at accacareers.com); researching, writing and designing articles for the student magazines All-Clear (send to A-level students on results day) and Navigator; producing online adverts on behalf of clients such as Strathallan Independent School; and helping with content development for the StuGlo.com website. Each day provided me with a new challenge, and I think I suitably impressed my line manager as I was invited back to work there the following Christmas.
I was introduced to a number of senior figures within the company, including group heads, directors and the CEO, all of whom were very approachable and encouraged me to ask them questions to help aid my personal development. Even though I’d only just completed my first year at University and was relatively inexperienced, the staff were used to accommodating interns and made me feel as though I had an important role to play within the business.
Although I don’t necessarily see myself going into a career in advertising, I gained a number of transferrable skills from the experience, which have since helped me to secure a part-time job alongside my studies. In addition, I made some good friends, some great contacts, and even managed to get a recommendation for my LinkedIn profile!”
Our Top 10 Top Posts December 30, 2011Posted by Andrew Falconer in : Languages, Law, Marketing, Marketing, Advertising & PR, Media, advertising and PR, arts administration, career profiles, city jobs, civil service, diversity, employability and skills, entrepreneurship , add a comment
From creative CVs to interviewers wearing pjyamas, this blog has covered them all this year. When we write these posts we think about our target audience of University of London students, but are mindful that people all over the world access these pages and may need different things.
Many of the ideas for posts come from conversations with students. Issues such as being put off during a Skype interview because the interviewer was sitting on a bed in a hotel room wearing boxer shorts. Or navigating the graduate job market with a lower degree result than you were hoping for. Other posts come from campus workshops we facilitate, including my interest in LinkedIn and social media as a career development tool.
Whilst most of the (unpublished) comments are offering cheap viagra, instant Facebook fans or very personal cosmetic surgery, others have provided genuine debate on the issues. It’s nice to get comments and to be able to respond to such queries.
So here is our Top Ten Top Posts of 2011 based on readership, with a bonus 11 and 12 thrown in as a holiday special. Have a great New Year!
LinkedIn: Why bother? September 15, 2011Posted by Andrew Falconer in : Uncategorized, employability and skills, entrepreneurship , 1 comment so far
A graduate recently told me that she had messaged over twenty professionals on linkedin asking for a job. It had cost her financially and she only received six responses – all negative. She showed me what she had sent them. It was three lines – a link to her profile, a generic comment about her being hardworking and enthusiastic and a plea for a job. I’m surprised she even got six replies. She had completely misunderstood LinkedIn and the subtlety of using it.
I think LinkedIn is a fantastic site. When I spoke at International Futures earlier this year I think I sounded like a LinkedIn salesman or evangelist. For me the site delivers so much potential, both for experienced professionals and those starting out in their careers. You can listen to my enthusiasm and watch the powerpoint slides online.
The graduate I met had very high and misguided expectations about LinkedIn. It is not a jobs website. It is also not Facebook. It’s a professional network that requires input. Students often expect that once their profile is published suddenly all sorts of job offers will pour into their inbox. It is rare that just by turning up to a networking event you would immediately ask for a job, so why would you on LinkedIn?
And LinkedIn is like a networking event. Professionals from all sorts of industries, from all over the world (although some countries have a difficult relationship with such networks) are on the site. My first “real” job was as a Funeral Director – and yes, even they are on there. If you want to work in anything from finance to international development or environmental consultancy, the site could help you.
So if you can’t ask for a job, what can you do? Networking is a process. We’ll be running a series of posts on Networking at the end of October which will look at the process and how you put it into practice. Essentially the key benefit of networking is about building knowledge. The jobs come once you have the level of knowledge required to understand opportunities when they arise. If you want to work in environmental consulting, there are lots of resources online but LinkedIn has groups where current professionals discuss key issues. It is in these groups that you can learn more about the profession and ask (intelligent!) questions of its members. It can then also drive them to your lovingly-created profile. And just to be sure, there are some good sites warning of LinkedIn faux pas.
It is of course not the only social networking site around. Indeed Facebook is being used by employers as a recruitment tool, with some sectors finding it more succesful than LinkedIn. But Facebook is not conducive to professional groups, particularly where professionals seek to seperate their private and business lives. Like all aspects of job seeking, use a variety of tools to explore opportunties.
LinkedIn has a Learning Centre with resources for students and job seekers. Whilst oriented towards an American market, the information is useful for those setting up LinkedIn profiles for the first time and taking first steps towards engaging with professionals. Some college careers services also run hands-on LinkedIn training sessions which are worth participating in. But, like with all networking, the advice is to put yourself out there, get started. It may take a while to build confidence but people on LinkedIn are there because they like to share. If in doubt remember the first rule of networking – people love talking about themselves! So just ask.
Online social networking – Follow Friday: Entrepreneurs November 19, 2010Posted by Helen Curry in : networking , add a comment
****Be aware this content is over two years old****
If you are a Twitter user, you will be familiar with Follow Friday (or #FF) – every Friday people tweet their recommendations about who to follow. I thought I’d pick up the idea, but broaden it to share the Facebook and LinkedIn accounts I’d recommend as well.
These will be useful for job-hunting, networking, sharing your questions, getting information, and tracking down events to attend.
I have been following Global Entrepreneurship Week, so in honour of that I have taken entrepreneurship as my first theme. Interesting to see how different organisations favour different networks.
For general tips on networking approaches (not just online) see our handout on Networking.
First of all, some of the strongest and most active groups are the student societies and careers-service-led pages. They are mainly sharing events and successes within their community, so you’ll need to search for the one at your uni. At the University of London we have Royal Holloway Entrepreneurs, UCL Entrepreneurs Society, King’s College London Business Society, Queen Mary Entrepreneurs,
You will want to use LinkedIn to network with individuals you know, but I’d definitely recommend joining groups like these too. You can ask questions, join topical discussions, and build your network through finding other individuals to connect with.
- On Start-Ups – The Community for Entrepreneurs
- British Library – UK Entrepreneur Network
- Real Business Entrepreneur Network
- UnLtd – The Foundation for Social Entrepreneurs
- Duncan Bannatyne – http://twitter.com/DuncanBannatyne
- Peter Jones – http://twitter.com/dragonjones
- James Caan – http://twitter.com/jamescaan
- Richard Branson – http://twitter.com/richardbranson
- Jack Smith – Young Tech-Entrepreneur – http://twitter.com/_jacksmith
- Dan Martin – BusinessZone editor – http://twitter.com/Dan_Martin
- Peter Grigg – Head of Policy & Research, Enterprise UK – http://twitter.com/pgrigg
- Jonathan Moules – Financial Times, enterprise correspondent – http://twitter.com/Jonathan_Moules
- Bill Morrow – Founder of Angels Den – http://twitter.com/BillMorrow
- Business Link http://twitter.com/BusinessLinkGov
- Flying Start http://twitter.com/FSMakeItHappen
- School for Startups http://twitter.com/s4s
- NACUE http://twitter.com/NACUE
- Global Entrepreneurship Week UK http://twitter.com/GEWUK
- Virgin Media Pioneers http://twitter.com/vmpioneers
- Talent Scouts for NEA http://twitter.com/TalentScout_NEA
- UnLtd http://twitter.com/UnLtd
- Enterprise UK http://twitter.com/The_Enterpriser
- Business Zone http://twitter.com/BusinessZone/
- Royal Holloway Entrepreneurs http://twitter.com/rhentrepreneurs
- Queen Mary Entrepreneurs http://twitter.com/QM_E
- UCL Entrepreneurs Society http://twitter.com/UCLEntrepreneur
Anyone else you’d recommend?
Is your CV heading for the shredder? August 17, 2010Posted by Helen Curry in : CVs , 1 comment so far
**** Be aware this content is over two years old ****
Recruiters are having their say about common CV mistakes to avoid in The Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR) LinkedIn discussion group – some useful tips here that I had to share.
Mistakes to avoid:
- Poor spelling and grammar (as ever – but they all say it!)
- Unusual formatting – it should be easy to scan.
- Hard-to-find contact details
- Targeting another company/job
- Too long – two pages is the standard for graduates in the UK, unless it is for an academic position. You can always put ‘references available on request’ instead of lengthy referee contact details
- Awkward copy and paste
- Not specifying the necessary grades when the position has minimum requirements
Stating they have four A-levels ranging from A* to C is of no help… I’ll cynically assume there were more Cs than A*s!
- Last-minute applications – tolerance levels go down when recruiters are swamped by a rush of applications at deadline-time
- Use of tiny fonts and slim margins to cram in more text – instead make strategic cuts to highlight the best, stand-out content.
- Cover letters that begin “Dear Recruiter”…
It is so easy to pick up the phone to find out the name of the lead recruiter – a personal approach is so much more powerful.
- Crazy fonts and colour schemes – often inappropriate for traditional corporate roles, though it can be good for creatives…
- Obvious template CVs – recruiters do get familiar with some of them!