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People Hire People

If you’re looking for a job, there’s a good chance you’re applying online. And, chances are good that applying online is your go to option. It makes sense. The last time you reached out to a HR person at a job fair or on LinkedIn (or anywhere else), they said, “Apply online. If you’re a good fit, we’ll call you!” They may even have said, “Don’t reach out to us. We review every application carefully.”

Don’t be fooled. In most cases, they’re giving you the company line. They’re telling you the official rules of the game. But, this is the thing: people hire people. Yes, you heard me right. People hire people.

Most hiring managers do not post a new job and then think, “I sure hope our company website lands me a great hire this time!”

Most hiring managers post their jobs to the company website because they have to. It may even be automated. When they got the approval to hire someone, the powers that be took a copy of the job description and uploaded it into a system somewhere – and bam, it showed up on the company website.

When a hiring manager gets approval to hire someone, this is what they typically think. “Hmm… do I know anyone who might be able to do this job? Or… I wonder if I know anyone who knows anyone.”

This process makes sense if you think about it. When’s the last time you found a new doctor solely from the internet? You probably asked friends for a recommendation. Iif you couldn’t find a recommendation, you may have looked at reviews online. But, chances are good you asked around first. It works the same way with hiring.

Does this mean you shouldn’t apply online? No. Apply online. But, then think of how you can meet the real life people who will be making this important hiring decision.

If you go the route of applying online only, it may take you hundreds of applications to land an interview. I hear from people every day who have applied to 100 or more jobs online, only to receive very few callbacks.

If you’re the exception to this rule, awesome. There are exceptions. For example, you may have a skillset that’s rare where you live. Or, maybe you do something that’s incredibly specialized. I have a friend who is an Abinitio developer. Ever heard of it? Me either. And because this friend has such a specific (and rare) skillset, he could probably apply online and get a call back. But, most jobs aren’t like that.

Go old school with your job search to find success. Find the hiring manager and get your resume to them – via a friend, email, or US Mail. The internet is amazing for research. Never have we had so much data about companies at our fingers. But at the end of the day, people hire people.

Angela Copeland, a career coach and founder of Copeland Coaching, can be reached at copelandcoaching.com.

The Secret to Using LinkedIn Effectively

There’s a question that many new job seekers are thinking about. “Do I really need to use Linkedin, and how can I use it effectively?”

The first answer is straightforward. Yes, you need to use LinkedIn. You need to use it for your job search. And, honestly, you need to use it before your job search. It should be part of your professional brand – similar to carrying a business card. Integrating LinkedIn into your daily business practice will make it both easier and more effective in the long run.

So, the next question is around how to use LinkedIn effectively. Sometimes, people ask me if there’s a course they can take. And actually, I do teach a workshop about LinkedIn. But in reality, you don’t need a special class to use LinkedIn.

The main thing you need to do to become good at LinkedIn is use LinkedIn. You heard me right. Use it. It’s like Facebook. If you only looked at Facebook every six months, you might wonder how it works. It would be a bit unclear how to find your friends or how to accept party invitations. But, if you’re like most people, you use Facebook every day. And, after a while, it becomes second nature.

So, where to begin? First, you need a profile picture. I get it. You may not really like putting up photos of yourself. You may not have a recent photo you like. I totally hear you. But, in order to use LinkedIn effectively, you’ve gotta do it. Don’t feel like you need to hire a professional photographer. A friend could even take a decent photo on your smartphone. Just be sure that you look professional and the photo is only you. Ideally, you want to smile.

Next, fill out your profile. Put in as much information as you can. Include a mini-bio of yourself in the Summary section. Include your jobs in the Experience section, along with detail about what you did. Include your degrees (but omit the year you graduated). Fill it out – all of it.

Then, ask your trusted contacts to leave reviews of your work under the Recommendations section.

If you’re really feeling ambitious, turn on the “open candidate” feature. This is where you let recruiters now that you’re open for new jobs. It’s also a place where you can leave notes for recruiters about your dream job, including desired job titles, locations, and industries.

Now, get out there and use LinkedIn. Follow companies, participate in discussions, share articles, connect to colleagues and yes – do consider connecting to someone you don’t already know in real life. After all, how are you going to meet new people if you don’t meet new people?

That’s it. Just like Facebook, the more you use LinkedIn, the easier it gets. The more intuitive it becomes. The more aware of little features you become. It’s just that simple.

Remember, don’t put information on LinkedIn that you wouldn’t want your boss to see. Don’t share confidential company stats. And, definitely don’t SAY that you are looking for a job.

There’s no secret to it. Well, except maybe this one. The secret to using LinkedIn is to use LinkedIn. :c)

I hope these tips have helped you. Visit CopelandCoaching.com to find more tips to improve your job search. If I can be of assistance to you, don’t hesitate to reach out to me here.

Visit CopelandCoaching.com to find more tips to improve your job search. If I can be of assistance to you, don’t hesitate to reach out to me here.

Also, be sure to subscribe to my Copeland Coaching Podcast on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher where I discuss career advice every Tuesday! If you’ve already heard the podcast and enjoy it, please consider leaving a review in Apple Podcasts or Stitcher.

Happy hunting!

Angela Copeland
@CopelandCoach

 

Making the Most of Holiday Parties

We’ve all been there. There’s a company holiday party you’d rather not attend – or maybe your next door neighbors are throwing an event that you just can’t avoid. Whatever the occasion, these parties can be draining during the holidays. This is especially true for those of us who are introverts, or who have other commitments such as children or a demanding job. It can feel like there’s just no room for another to do on the list.

But, if you’re planning to be on the job market next year, holiday parties can truly be the perfect place to kick off your search. Where else will you find such a large group of warm, friendly people in one room together? They’re typically friends you haven’t seen in a while, who genuinely want to know how you’re doing and what you’re up to. And, they’re often looking to reconnect again outside of the event.

Holiday parties are also often very cost effective as they are typically free and at the most, may only require a small host gift or a bottle of wine.

The best part is, you don’t have to wear a suit. And you don’t usually need to deliver your elevator pitch from scratch. You’ll know most people, or a friend will likely introduce you. Conversations will be easier, more interesting, and less forced than a typical networking event.

To truly make the most of your holiday parties this year, plan ahead. Try to get enough rest in advance and be ready to share the latest news in your life. Share personal updates, including changes in your family, your home, or your work. But, do your best to keep your news positive. Holiday parties are meant to be a festive occasion and should focus on the good things going on in your life.

If forced conversations feel difficult, think of a list of questions in advance. Ask how their family is doing. Ask if the friend has any plans to travel or take a vacation soon. Ask about common hobbies and interests.

Remember to bring business cards – and to exchange them with other guests when (and if) it seems appropriate. This will help you to stay in touch with new friends and update your contact information for old ones. If you’re not currently working, a simple card will do. Include your name, phone number, and email address.

After the event, make a point to follow up with the folks you want to stay in touch with. Invite them to your next party. Ask them to have lunch or coffee. And, be sure to connect on LinkedIn.

These small interactions build your friendships and grow your network. When the New Year comes, you’ll be more prepared to put your best foot forward. And, if you do ask a friend for help with a job application, it won’t be the first time they’ve seen you in a while. Build your network of friends when you’re not asking for help with a job.

Angela Copeland is a Career Coach and Founder of Copeland Coaching and can be reached at CopelandCoaching.com or on Twitter at @CopelandCoach.

Network when you don’t need it

Have you ever had a friend who disappeared a few years ago? The one you never hear from, until they pop up and they need something. I’ll admit it. I’ve been this person before, and it’s a reminder of something not to do.

If you’re like me, the type of person you want to devote your time to helping is the same person you feel appreciates you. They’re someone who takes the time to check on you. They ask about your family and your life. It’s someone you feel like you know well. They know you well. They care about you, and you care about them.

When a friend pops in out of the blue and asks for a favor – they begin to feel like a sales person. You wonder where they’ve been and what their real motive is. You wonder if they’re your real friend, or if your friendship is contingent upon something else.

It leaves a bad taste in your mouth, right? And, chances are good that you aren’t as helpful to that friend as someone who genuinely takes the time to stay in touch with you.

It’s a great reminder to network when you don’t need it. Stay in touch even when you’re not looking for a job. Offer help when you don’t need anything in return.

Someone recently shared the way they’re doing this with me. Each day, they go through their cell phone and pick someone to call at random. On the first day, they pick an A name such as Amanda. On the second day, they pick a B name such as Bob. They call at least one person each day, and they say hello with no motive. If the person isn’t there, they leave a friendly voice message for the person. They rotate through the entire alphabet and start over the next month.

I haven’t tried this method yet, but it sounds like a great way to get started. I know what you’re thinking though. It can be weird to call someone with no appointment – no text message – no email. You’re right – it can be weird. It can also be really normal. The more you reach out to friends for connection, the less surprising it will be when you do.

And, when you do need something, your friends will be more likely to step up. They’ll know that you really need help, and that you’re truly invested in your friendship with them.

I hope these tips have helped you. Visit CopelandCoaching.com to find more tips to improve your job search. If I can be of assistance to you, don’t hesitate to reach out to me here.

Visit CopelandCoaching.com to find more tips to improve your job search. If I can be of assistance to you, don’t hesitate to reach out to me here.

Also, be sure to subscribe to my Copeland Coaching Podcast on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher where I discuss career advice every Tuesday! If you’ve already heard the podcast and enjoy it, please consider leaving a review in Apple Podcasts or Stitcher.

Happy hunting!

Angela Copeland
@CopelandCoach

 

3 job search tips for the introvert

I have to confess: I’m an introvert. People I’ve met in person are often surprised by this little known fact. They assume that public speaking and networking skills equate to extroversion. And, this makes sense on the surface. But, introverts can excel too. If you struggle, here are three tips to help you excel in your job search.

First, practice networking. Don’t wait until it really counts to go to networking events. Prepare by writing down and practicing your elevator pitch. Get your business cards together. Think through how you will approach a business social event, and whether or not you’re comfortable going alone. Set a goal to meet at least five new people per event, to exchange business cards, and to follow up with them after the event online and potentially in person.

Second, look for opportunities to have private meetings with networking contacts. One on one meetings are typically much easier (and more fruitful) for introverts. Despite only meeting with one person at a time, quality often trumps quantity. Invite new contacts for a coffee, or for lunch. Take the time to get to know each person, and to find out what you have in common. Look for opportunities to help the other person, and try to avoid asking for favors up front. Relationship building takes time, and isn’t all about landing a job in the moment.

Here’s a bonus tip about events. If you struggle to remember names or details, write notes on the back of every business card you receive. Include the date you met the person, where you were, and a few things you talked about. Before you attend future networking events, review your business card notes. You’ll be surprised at how much easier it will be to remember names, and how impressed your new contacts will be.

Third, use the internet to your advantage. If you aren’t tapped into the latest gossip on a company, check out their reviews on Glassdoor.com. If you have an interview coming up, use LinkedIn to research your future hiring manager. Use sites like Salary.com to find out what other people are making in your field and in your city. In the past, much of this information was gathered by word of mouth. But, the internet gives you the power to learn more about the company, the hiring manager, and the job – all from the comfort of your living room.

Just remember, being an introvert is an asset. Depending on the type of job you do, the hiring manager may be looking for someone who’s a little quieter or a little more serious. And, if you struggle at networking events, keep in mind that the more you practice, the better you’ll become. Plus, you don’t have to be the best networker to be a great one. Networking isn’t a one-time event, or a competition. Your network is something you develop and grow over time, in many settings. This means that you’ll have many chances to make a great impression.

Angela Copeland is a Career Coach and Founder of Copeland Coaching and can be reached at CopelandCoaching.com or on Twitter at @CopelandCoach.

126 | 20-min Networking Meeting – Marcia Ballinger, Ballinger | Leafblad in Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN

Episode 126 is live! This week, we talk with Marcia Ballinger in Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN.

Marcia is the Co-founder and Principle at Ballinger | Leafblad, an executive search firm focused on serving civic clients including foundations, non-profits, and higher education intuitions. She’s also co-author of The 20-Minute Networking Meeting.

On today’s episode, Marcia shares her secrets to getting and executing a 20-minute networking meeting successfully. If you’re struggling with networking, this episode is a must listen!

Listen and learn more! You can play the podcast here, or download it on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher.


To learn more about Marcia, visit her website at http://www.ballingerleafblad.com/, or check out her book, The 20-Minute Networking Meeting here: http://amzn.to/2mYB3p2.

Thanks to everyone for listening! And, thank you to those who sent me questions. You can send your questions to Angela@CopelandCoaching.com. You can also send me questions via Twitter. I’m @CopelandCoach. And, on Facebook, I am Copeland Coaching. Don’t forget to help me out. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts and leave me a review!