7 ‘Alternative’ Uses for LinkedIn

linkedin_circle_color-128Whether you love or hate LinkedIn, it has many uses and it’s ideal for introverts too!  Did you know you can use it all sorts of ways to aid your career?

Here are a few ‘alternative’ things you might like to try:

  1. Detective work – use it to aid your job search efforts, and look at company profiles and find out exactly what they do, what their values are, who works there and whether or not they have current vacancies.
  2. Giant CV Bank – no wonder recruitment agencies love it! All the best talent gathered together with their CV profiles laid out for people to read (including you)!  Want to follow in someone’s footsteps?  Then look how they did it, by reading their profile on LinkedIn!
  3. Six Degrees of Separation – Discover just how close you are to the people you want to meet. Type in their name and then LinkedIn will show you in the right hand margin, who you know who is connected to them.  Then it’s just the case of following and connecting with those people to get you to the end person.  And if you find a job you like, then LinkedIn can show you how you are connected to the person who placed the ad – cool eh?
  4. See What’s Trending – what are the hot topics in your sector? What’s exciting people and what’s getting them hot under the collar?  What are people’s pain points?  Have you got a solution to offer?
  5. Dive Deeper with Groups – groups are like having a worldwide conference in your front room. You can join in at any point (even in your pyjamas)!  Again you can be passive or active – the choice is yours!  But no-one notices you if you are passive.
  6. Fish Where the Fish Are! – A go-to one-stop shop. Don’t waste time elsewhere.  It’s a catch-all, a hub, a place where the doors are always open, where people will share knowledge and help each other grow.
  7. Search for Jobs – use the job search facilities to find vacancies for you.  You can refine your search right down – have a play and see what comes up.  Some companies will allow you to apply direct from LinkedIn by using your profile as a CV.  So make sure it is up to date and your profile details are full.

I hope that’s given you some food for thought and will make you want to engage.  Dive in – I’ve used LI for years now and find it an invaluable resource.

If you have any questions – please email me and I’ll reply directly.

 

Not Found a Graduate Job Yet? How to up your game!

The euphoria of graduating is probably subsiding now and the fears of not having found a suitable graduate role, is probably kicking in.

Money is probably becoming scarce as goodwill of parents and friends dries up, and the reality of daily job hunting takes over.

The slippery slide starts when you start considering taking jobs ‘just to pay the bills’. But beware here. I have seen many a graduate end up in a dead end job and two years later, find it even harder to get back into a commensurate graduate role.

Plus, is two years of working on a supermarket checkout for a minimum wage is going to look fantastic on your CV???

Get back to basics and find out where you are stuck – it can only be in one of 4 places.

1. You don’t know what you want to do
2. You don’t know where to search for suitable roles or you feel ‘there are no jobs for graduates’
3. Your CV is not opening doors to interviews
4. You are getting interviews but are not getting the job

Where are YOU stuck?

My free e-book will help you get kick-started. It’s full of ideas to help you determine what is stopping you from getting a good graduate role.

The choice is yours – download the free e-book for a kickstart OR accept the job on the supermarket checkout.

A Free Way to Accelerate your Career Skills, Ahead of the Crowd!

Accelerator Hub_123rf.artquLearning is always a continuous process.  Just because you have now graduated, doesn’t mean your learning should end.  The skills you are now acquiring will serve you for life in your future career.

After you’ve just paid a fortune for your degree, I guess you might be looking for a FREE way to continue, and entry to my free level of the Graduate Accelerator Hub gives you 12 PDF’s (one per month) of useful top tips and tricks which can accelerate your career.  Each one is called First Class Results’ and it gives you information how improve your CV, learn how to network, spruce up your LinkedIn profile or manage your time  (plus many other subjects).

Plus, I’m also going to give you really great advice for making your CV stand out from the crowd!  And we all know how important a great CV is!

Nothing will be more than a 5 minute read, but it will boost your knowledge and give you a 100% head start over your contemporaries.

Would you like to join us and get your own copy of ‘First Class Results’ every month?  It’s the ‘secret-sauce’ for careers 🙂

Then click the button and sign up for FREE!

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Got some questions first?   Then fire away and email me on: christine@graduatecareerdoctor.com

7 Steps to Get Crystal Clear on Your Goals

RedArrow_123rf.FREEHow do you determine what your goals are?  By getting CLARITY about EXACTLY what you want to achieve, coupled with a plan of how you are going to get there.  Letting nothing stand in your way or knock you off track.  Use these 7 steps to get you to your next goal.

  1. Get Clear.  People with clear written goals achieve much more in life. Write your goal down (most important).  Articulate it, see it, feel it, hear it.  Write it down clearly and IN DETAIL.
  2. Set a Deadline. If it’s a large goal break it down and give every section a specific date to be finished by.  Especially the end date for the finished goal!
  3. Get List Happy! Make a list of everything you need to do to get to the end goal.  These actions will form the road map of how you are going to get there.
  4. Re-jig that list into a logical sensible order.   What needs to be done first, then second, then 3rd etc.?  There will be a logical sequence here.  TOP TIP:  I like to write each one on a sticky note and then move them around into a logical sequence.
  5. Ready, Set Go! Do the first thing on the list to get you started and energize yourself with your goal progress.
  6. Rinse & Repeat! Every day, revisit the list and do the next step.  And every day revisit the goal and really engage with your ‘WHY’.  Why is this important to you?  Revisit those feelings you are going to get when you achieve that goal!
  7. Review and Celebrate Success. Keep reviewing the goal – you may find you can knock some steps out, (or you may need to add a few in).  At each milestone don’t forget to congratulate yourself on your progress and celebrate success.

Congratulations!!  By doing this method you’ve put yourself into the Top 3% of Achievers.  This is what achievers do to accomplish so much more in their lives.

Get ready to be awesome!

 

 

7 FREE Ways LinkedIn can Help You Find a Job

BlueNetwork123RFLinkedIn is a marvellous resource and you can get a lot of value out of the free version.  Use these 7 ways to help you find a job on there too.

  1.  Complete Your Profile

You wouldn’t send in a half finished CV would you?  So why put something online that only tells half the story?  One of the more crucial bits is your LinkedIn Summary section.  But this is the bit that people tend to skip.  Without it you are less likely to be highlighted in searches as the algorithms/SEO have nothing to tag you for.  Completing your profile also means including a photograph.  Don’t leave it blank. You wouldn’t go networking with a bag on your head, so you don’t get recognized, would you?  So why do it online?

  1. Inject Personality

Even though your photo is you in your business attire (not in your beach shorts please), your profile should not read like a CV.  Write it in 1st person (using ‘I’) and write about your passion and interests and what makes your heart sing in business.  Inject your personality into your writing.

  1. Use Your LinkedIn URL

Customise and shorten it from the long generic string you get when you set up your account, to something others would recognize (i.e. your name).  I chose ChristineWare1 and now add this to all my social media links.  Another reason why your profile needs to be complete.  Don’t send people to an unfinished page!

  1. Network (Small to Large)

Start building your network with people you really know and then move outwards.  Friends and colleagues are a good place to start.  If you are a student, start with your classmates and your academics.  Think long term here.  Your fellow students may be just classmates and social friends now, but given 5-10 years where will they be?  If you are doing an internship, it is crucial to make great contacts whilst you are there.  Face to face networking always beats online and again, where will those people be in 5 years time? And more importantly, where will you be?!?  Network face-to-face first and then add them to your LinkedIn contacts.  That way, you’ll always be up to date with them (providing they, and you, keep your profiles up to date of course).

  1. Join Groups

How fabulous to be able to join the world’s largest networking group and then be able to talk with ‘like-minded’ people, all together in one place!  This is rather like being at a conference and then having separate meetings for different topics.  This can be where the magic happens.  Just like at a f2f networking event, you can observe, comment or start a conversation.  You can also use it for detective work!  Who are these people?  Where do they work?  How did they get to where they are now?  Who do they know?  Who do they know, who knows who you want to know?  It’s a mine of information!  Don’t always be passive though.  Grow your confidence.  ‘Like’ articles, make comments on them with your own views or start your own thread!  Get known.  Get people curious about who you are, and will look at your profile to find out more about you 🙂

  1. Use the Search Facilities for Jobs

Did you know you can search for jobs with quite a wide brief or get really specific?  You can search by title, area, sector, country etc.  And then LI can show you who you know who is connected to that company or person who placed the ad.  You may be closer than you think to that role!  Leverage those introductions – after all, that’s what networking is all about.

  1. Don’t Stay Anonymous

You know you are looking for a new role, but how many other people do?  If you are already in a job, I wouldn’t advocate telling LI publically that you are looking, but how about messaging your network, just to let them know that you are open for a new opportunity and if they hear of anything …  But if you are out of work, then tell everyone!  A job is not going to come and knock on your front door.  Get proactive and get out there.

 

If you have any burning questions about networking, don’t keep them to yourself.  Please do ask me:  Email – christine@graduatecareerdoctor.com   I’ll be happy to help 🙂

 

 

Graduated? What’s next?

Crossroads_123rfWhat an exciting time in your career!  Newly graduated and just waiting for the world of work to open up and embrace you.

But what happens if you wait….  And wait….   And nothing comes along?

There’s a couple of things you can do straight away to ensure that you are ‘ready’ for when opportunities arise.

  1. Know what you want!  I meet lots of graduates with lots to offer but they haven’t really given much thought to their chosen career path.  Unless you are clear, you will end up chasing lots of loose threads and will probably end up in a role that is not suited to your skills and talents and undoubtedly will leave you feeling frustrated.
  2. Ensure your CV is top-notch.  If you’ve sent it out over a dozen times and have not secured one interview then the chances are that it needs a re-write or a complete overhaul.  Don’t keep sending it out and expecting a different result – it will not happen!
  3. Set time aside.  A job won’t just land in your lap so make time every single day to search and apply for work.  Don’t miss any opportunities!
  4. Focus.  Don’t ‘spray and pray’.  Have a plan and stick to it.  Follow the industry on Twitter, FB and other social media sites.  Network and access that hidden job market.  Get yourself seen on LinkedIn.

I meet lots of graduates who have had to take an ‘interim’ role to survive and guess what, 2-3 years later they are still in the same role, unhappy and unfulfilled and now have a chunk of experience on their CV which has taken them further away from what they wanted in the first place.

Don’t let that happen to you!  Get clear!  Get help if required and focus!

And if you need help, take advantage of self help modules, or by working with me on a 1-1 level to significantly increase your chances of landing that very special career that you truly deserve.

 

Graduated? Now Get Visible!

LinkedInFREECongratulations if you have recently graduated. What a fantastic feeling to know your hard work and determination has paid off and you are about to embark on a fantastic future!

I bet you’ve shared your news with your parents, grandparents and the wider family. You’ve been out with your fellow finalists and had celebratory drinks and well-deserved fun. And now the reality is looming. Who else needs to know?

You’ve got yourself a decent degree but the people who really need to know about it are the business world. So what’s the biggest platform for getting your success out there?  Well, you can’t go far wrong then announcing it on LinkedIn.  You could be quiet about it and just update your profile.  Or you could be mega-bold and put it in the news section, tell the members what degree you’ve studied, what degree classification you have got and where you want to go next!

You never know who is reading your profile and who might just be needing someone like you in their company.

What have you got to loose?  Nothing.  Or you can stay quiet and end up in a dead end job.  Choice is yours …

5 Ways to Turbo-Charge your Job-Hunting

RocketManFREE

Does your job-hunting need a boost?  Try these 5 top tips for some turbo-boosting!

  1. Begin with the end in mind – get really clear on what you want.  What type of role?  What geographical area?  What salary scale?  Small, medium or large company?
  2. Schedule time each day to job-search. I’m not talking a cursory scan of the internet.  Get really focused for at least 1-2 hours per day.  And if you are unemployed then make it your full-time job to find a job!  Don’t just think you’ll find a job online, face-to-face networking too is very powerful.
  3. Let everyone in your network know you are available for work and what you want to do (refer to point 1).
  4. Don’t discount speculative letters. They DO work!  The trick is to get it to the right decision maker.  That’s where your homework comes in.  I’m a great fan of going back to the old-fashioned way and send a printed CV and cover letter – emails can (and will) be ignored, but its kind of novel now to receive a letter!  I’ve never know anyone open up a letter and immediately put it down without reading a bit.
  5. Follow up! Ring a few days later to introduce yourself and ask whether they have received your CV, and whether anything is available now or possibly in the near future.  Don’t hide behind an email, show your personality and ring.

Give it a go – what have you to loose?

Smash those Competency Based Interview Questions with CAR or STAR!

Car OR StarIf you are familiar with CAR and STAR, you will know that they are fantastic templates for answering competency based questions.

Note:  A competency based questions is a behavioural question where you describe a situation which demonstrates how you have dealt with that scenario in your past career.  

The most popular tends to be STAR, but I think this is the more difficult to remember than CAR, especially when you are under pressure in an interview situation.

As a quick reminder (or for those who are not familiar with it) STAR stands for:

 

     S – Situation (describe the situation you faced)

     T – Task (describe the tasks you undertook)

     A – Actions (talk about the actions you made)

     R – Result (major on the results you got)

 

The ‘S’ and the ‘T’ and ‘A’ tend to get muddled so that’s why I prefer CAR instead and this is what I teach to my students/clients.

 

Here’s the easier way:

CAR stands for:

 

     C – Challenge (describe the challenge you faced, i.e. set the scene)

     A – Actions (describe the actions you took to overcome that challenge)

     R – Results (major on the results you got)

 

See how much easier that is?  So the next time you are faced with a competency based question at interview, have CAR running in the back of your mind and you’ll soon be ‘motoring’ with your brilliant answers!

 

Would you like a FREE copy of my short ebook on ‘How to Answer Key Competency Based Questions with Ease’?

The first 10 people to email me and just put ‘Competency Based Questions’ in the email subject header will receive one, with my compliments 🙂

Email:  christine@graduatecareerdoctor.com

Are you a Graduate Sheep? Baaaahhhh …

Are you a graduate sheep?
Are you a graduate sheep?

I adore working with undergraduates and graduates, but I don’t like the way that universities turn you into clones of each other.  I believe that you should all have lectures on ‘Personal Branding’ to help you identify who you are and what you have to offer when graduating.  Think about how hard it is for companies to recruit graduates when you all look and act the same!  Same degree, same classification, same CV format (usually boring) and same answers to interview questions.  Usually taught by people who have never been in anything else but academia all their life!

A pattern I’ve certainly noticed is that you need to stand out from the crowd and start doing that from at least your 2nd year of studies.

What makes you unique?  What is your passion?  How do you express that?  Do you have a goal and a clear path of how to get there?  Are you proactive?  Do you seek out opportunities and grab them?  Are you fully present in the moment and embrace everything that uni life throws at you?

The pattern I see is that students who do this get the good jobs, get the opportunities and launch their careers straight after graduating.  They are not still applying for jobs 6 months after graduating or having to accept a lesser ‘non-grad’ role just to pay the bills.  Which are you?  I hope not the latter, if so, a change of strategy is required sharpish!

Stand out from the crowd – don’t be a sheep!  (Unless it’s a black one) 😉

5 Surefire Ways to Boost Your Visibility on LinkedIn

linkedin_circle_color-128If you want to stand out from the crowd you have to be visible.  Use these surefire ways to get yourself noticed.

  1. Your Title

This is hugely important and determines how you are found on LI searches.  Make sure you have your degree subject in there if you are an undergraduate or graduate.

I.e. Marketing Undergraduate, Marketing Graduate

  1. Photograph

Dress how you would dress in business or how you would turn up for an interview.  Holiday shorts or you at a wedding with a drink in your hand do not portrait you as a serious business prospect.  Head and shoulder shots are fine.  Full body not required!  Think passport as a clue.

  1. Summary Section

This section again is hugely important and is normally the one that gets left blank.  Again the wording is important for the search engines, so have key words in there too.  Not too stuffed full though!  Think who you are, what you do, and who you do it for.  Add your contact details into that section too.

  1. First Person

I advocate that CV’s are always written in 3rd person, but LI profiles can be written in 1st.  This gives you an opportunity to inject your personality into the profile.  Make it sound engaging for the reader with a conversational style.

  1. Achievements

Ensure your profile is ‘achievement-led’ – no one is looking for Mr/Ms Ordinary.  When listing your experience it shouldn’t read like a job description.  Show the reader how you have excelled (even at the p/t work you did to supplement your studies).

Kick-Start Your 2016! What do you want to Be, Do and Have?

It’s the 4th January and if you haven’t thought about what you want to achieve in 2016 – this exercise will surely help you!  Kickstart your 2016 in just 15 minutes – guaranteed!

I want you to achieve your goals and dreams in 2016, but to do that you need to know what they are.  I’ve made this exercise especially for you and its a freebie, with no need to give me your email address, just download it from the link below.  Start planning what you want to Be, Do and Have in 2016 – my gift to you!

To Be, Do and Have

Wishing you the best 2016 ever!

Christine – Graduate Career Doctor

Career Not Moving? Where Are You ‘Stuck’?

Career Not Moving? Where are you stuck

Do you get that sinking feeling on a Sunday when you know you’ve got work tomorrow? Or perhaps you’d love to get a job where you could look forward to work on a Monday?

Chances are, if one of the above sentences resonates with you, then you are ‘stuck’ and your career is not moving forward.

There are 4 stages where you could be stuck, so identify what stage you are at and then read on for some handy tips and advice.

Stage 1: You don’t know what job you want to do / or would be good at

Get an A3 or A4 piece of plain paper out and make a mind map with following headings:

What’s my goal or purpose in life?

What sort of people do I like to work with?

What are my transferrable skills?

What are my areas of knowledge or fields of interest?

What sector would I like to work in? I.e. Financial, Charity, Marketing

In what location would I prefer to work? Would you move area?

What is the minimum salary range I would be prepared to live on?

Are there any gaps in my skills that I need further training on?

Start mapping all your answers out and I guarantee that a path will start to emerge J

Stage 2: You don’t know where to look for that type of work

The Internet is a good place to start but rather than trawling all the jobs boards, use one that is a ‘catch-all’. I use www.indeed.co.uk as I like the fact that you can search by area and salary. For instance if your minimum salary is £25,000 put that into the ‘What’ search box and then put the location in the ‘Where’ box.

Make good use of Social Media. Are you on Twitter? If so, follow all the companies that you feel you’d like to work for, and then you’ll get alerts the minute they advertise a vacancy. Same with Facebook. Not tried LinkedIn yet? You should! There are 300m+ users on LinkedIn and that’s companies as well as people. So ‘fish where the fish are’. Companies who have their own profile page will often advertise their vacancies on LinkedIn, as that is where they feel the business community is!

Word of Mouth. Does everyone you know, know what you are looking for? Let others be a ‘scout’ for you too. If they hear of anything that suits you, hopefully they’ll hotfoot back to you and let you know. Don’t ‘assume’ that people know.

Stage 3: Your CV is not opening doors to interview

It always amazes me how clients keep sending out the same old CV and expect to get a different result. If you’ve sent it out 20 times and you’ve not even got a sniff of an interview, then there’s something wrong with the CV! That’s where people like me can help with a FREE CV Review. Just send it along with a note of what type of role you are trying to get in to and I’ll give you my honest feedback and some useful notes on how to change it, for FREE.  Email to christine@graduatecareerdoctor.com

Stage 4: You are getting interviews, but not getting the job

Then this is definitely your interview technique that is letting you down. Again don’t go into the next interview with the same old patter, as you’ll get the same old result! If cash is tight then invest in a book. I’d recommend ‘Brilliant Answers to Tough Interview Questions’ as a starter. And if cash is really tight then the library will have a copy. If you can afford it, find a good Career Coach in your area and ask them to take you through a mock interview and give you honest feedback.

 

Hope that helps!  As always, if you have a specific question, please don’t hesitate to email me and ask.  I don’t bite!  christine@graduatecareerdoctor.com

Going Round In Circles With Your Career?

‘Your past does not determine your future – you do!’

Going Round in Circles With Your Career?Do you feel like you are going round in circles with your career?

I meet loads of clients who come to me for career coaching and I start off by doing a Past, Present and Future exercise; getting a bit of history of what they’ve done in their past career and listening to where they are right now.

Quite a few clients have a recurring theme in that they do the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result, and they are surprised when nothing changes! It’s like trying to open the front door with your car key!

For those people who are really determined to reach their goal this is where they realize that they may need help and call upon the services of someone like myself.

By listening to where they have been and what they have tried already, we can then start the real work which is setting out the vision of where they want to be. Including getting them to describe to me how they will know when they’ve arrived at their goal – what will they see, hear and feel etc.

The bit between that ultimate goal and where they are now is the strategy/road map. Without doing what they’ve always done, we explore new routes. Each part of the route is planned and we know what we’ll see, hear and feel when we get to each milestone. All of a sudden the career goal seems more achievable.

You have all the answers inside of you – you just need a good coach to ask you the right questions and get you to see the territory differently and find a new route which works for you.

Fancy having a go yourself?

Then download the FREE ‘First Class Results’ sheet and have a go at doing the Past, Present and Future exercise yourself.

 

 

 

 

 

 

75%+ Of People, Hate Their Jobs!

Statistics have shown that up to 75%+ of people hate their jobs. Now hate is a very strong word but I’d certainly endorse that figure by saying that 75%+ of people get little or no enjoyment from their career/role. Are you one of them?

It’s so easy to ‘fall’ into a role because:

  1. The salary/title was attractive
  2. Someone else said you’d be good at it
  3. You were promoted

But I’ve spent the majority of my career coaching sessions –

  1. Helping people who seem to ‘have it all’ – good salary, great title, company benefits – but are extremely unhappy. (They’ve climbed the career ladder and now feel it’s resting up against the wrong wall)
  2. Coaching people who seem to be following someone else’s dream career (I suspect that others try to get you into a career that they would have dearly loved themselves)
  3. Listening to managers who were excellent managing a process, but it’s a different game managing people; and they just don’t like it!

So how do you get yourselves out of this pickle, so you don’t become part of the 75%+ statistic?

The first step is to have a strategy/plan of moving from where you are now, to where you want to be. And then being prepared to take ACTION to get there. (After all, you wouldn’t go on a holiday without doing a bit of research first, would you?   Making a plan – visiting travel agents, looking on the map, researching the area, buying the currency etc. etc).

However although this option is open to everyone, some people never make the first move.  In fact some seem to get some pleasure from being ‘stuck’. Is that you?

If not, get that plan together and have the trip of your life, into a career you truly deserve and love!

Want to get started now?

Download this freebie to get you started :  Graduate Career Wheel

The Graduate Career Wheel is a great start. In minutes this wheel will highlight to you where your career is good and what needs to be changed.   You’ll feel so much better knowing you have already made a start on ‘the plan’!