Network like a Pro

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Networking is daunting, for sure, especially the first time you go solo. Whether you’ve been roped in to attend an event on behalf of work, been coerced by a friend, want to meet new people or need to build your connections, it does get easier the more practise you have. You don’t have to attend a ‘networking event’ as such, to network, establish connections and land yourself a dream job. From merely chatting to the girl sat next to you at the nail bar, on a night out or within a work situation, there are so many benefits of networking.

It has certainly helped push me out of my comfort zone, helped improve my small talk, presentation skills and increased my confidence. Big glasses of wine also make networking events much more bearable!

Here’s how to master the art of small talk, business card swapping and networking like a pro…

Business cards & LinkedIn

Bring your business cards with you and have LinkedIn at the ready. When swapping business cards with connections you’ve made, remember that quality is better than quantity. Take the extra effort to touch base after the event with a quite note to show your enthusiasm and gratitude. By remembering to connect and message your newly made contact in a friendly and professional manner could lead to you landing your dream job!

Maximise your time

Aim to arrive at the event early, allowing time to quickly freshen up and regain composure. Stay till the end too, if you can. This is a great way to mingle with guests while it’s not too busy and to introduce yourself and chat to the hosts and staff. Don’t stick with the first person you meet, and don’t feel bad about moving to another person or group. It’s important to meet as many people as possible, so make sure you work the room, after politely excusing yourself. If you know in advance who is attending, you can research and prioritise speaking to them.

Start the conversation

Most people don’t enjoy networking events. Many individuals will be nervous, just like you. So don’t be afraid to put yourself out there by saying hello to everyone, initiating conversations and being bold enough to join in with groups of people. If you are shy, speak to the organisers who can introduce you to people who are similar to you, or position yourself near the bar/food so that people can come to you.

Confidence

Be confident in yourself. Smile, have a good firm handshake and be comfortable talking about yourself, your job, inspirations and aspirations. Also, be inquisitive about the people you meet, open minded and listen to their stories. Everyone you meet should serve to educate, motivate, challenge and surprise you. You can learn something from everyday encounters with people. Today, whilst volunteering, I heard an incredible story by a lovely lady who was recently held at knife point in her own home, by an intruder and how she coped. It’s so easy these days to stare at your phone and pretend there’s something more interesting, in situations such as networking. However, by putting your phone away, opening up yourself to the people around you and taking the time to listen, appreciate and be emphatic – wonderful energy can be created.

I have attended countless blogging events, networking events and have attended events or occasions solo. I often find it’s better going solo as sometimes, bringing a friend can limit you. Take the leap and challenge yourself to attend some events solo. Attending blogging events have made me meet incredible friends, travelling solo has seriously improved my confidence and attending a networking event landed me an interview!

I hope you enjoyed reading,

Love Career Girl

xo

Get Hired Via Email!

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I remember when I graduated and I have blogged about this multiple times before, but it is totally normal to find the process of job hunting online boring, frustrating, time-consuming and somewhat depressing! Our parents tended to job hunt in person yet, increasingly, new jobs are being advertised and processed online via online job applications. You may have to uploaded your CV and cover letter etc. and wonder why you hear nothing back…

Beat the Applicant Tracking System

Well it’s probably because no one sees it! That’s right, a computer sifts through all those hundreds, if not thousands of CV’s searching for specific keywords within your CV; and if you pass the ‘Applicant Tracking System’ process only then will a human – aka the HR department, actually read your CV!!

The thought process understandably is that one person cannot deal with the overwhelming surge in applications and so the computer system takes over, saving time. However, in my opinion, great, talented candidates are put off by such lengthy and inhuman processes, so will look and apply elsewhere.

Potentially, there are ways to beat the system so to speak. By inputting keywords into your CV in white (so they are picked up but not shown up) or even formatting your CV better, the list goes on. But is it worth it?

You may be the perfect candidate and incredibly talented but if you don’t specify specific keywords outlined in the job description, (& it’s pot luck to receive one) your CV won’t be selected!

Dream job is an Email away!

As the title of this blog post suggests, it is possible to bypass those pointless job applications that disappear into the abyss. Just use email! Believe it or not there are jobs out there that don’t require you to fill out pointless applications!

Even if there are no vacancies advertised at your dream company, it is always worth sending prospective emails with your CV attached. Start by introducing yourself, outlining your past and current situation, experience, why you should work at the company and what you can bring to the table, also know as ‘pain letters’. The worst thing they can do is ignore you, but you have a much better chance of being noticed with your CV being read and also are more likely to be considered for future roles too! Also, make sure to include contact details and a link to your LinkedIn profile in your signature!

I hope this helps!

Good luck!

Love Career Girl

xoxo

Optimize Linkedin to Your Advantage!

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Linkedin is yet another method of job hunting online.  However, done well, it is so much more. It’s a great place to network with Industry leaders and connect with inspirational people, receive the latest industry insight and voice your opinion; take it a step further and you can showcase your writing skills by publishing articles on a given topic. More importantly, you can advertise the best brand ever…. YOU!

Think of Linkedin as an online CV which you can really have fun with. It should contain everything that’s on your CV, and then some. This is a place where you can let loose to an extent. Don’t be afraid to describe your career, life journey, hobbies, passions and your goals for the future!

Do – Upload a clear, professional photo. First and foremost, this is a job-site where future employers are scrutinising your online presence. So no Bikini selfies or pictures of your drunken antics etc. Think head and shoulders shot in smart attire and if you can spare the cash invest in a professional headshot.

Don’t – Be afraid to ‘connect’ with people you don’t know as such. That fancy hiring manager? Connect! It is a great way of getting that person to view your profile, at the very least! If they don’t want to connect it doesn’t matter, but chances are they will accept. No spamming though. Quality connections over quantity.

Don’t – Instantly send an inmail asking for a job to that hiring manager… From personal experience it’s better to build rapport rather than go in for the kill. The point of having recruiters/hiring managers as connections means you will hear of job openings a lot faster.

Do – Buy Linkedin premium, if you can afford it! This means you can see who has viewed your profile (and profile views are paramount by the way!) and if you are applying for a role, you can see how your skills and experience compare with other applicants. It also bumps you up the list of applicants, portraying you as a ‘featured applicant’, increasing your chances of being viewed & remembered.  Plus, depending on the upgrade, you can inmail tough to reach individuals.  Otherwise, take advantage of the month free trial of Linkedin premium.

Do – Proofread. Just like you would a CV. Spelling mistakes and poor grammar will turn a great profile into a mediocre one!

Do – Update your title. If you are unemployed, don’t be shy! Write that you are looking for a particular role or work experience!

Do – Write a blurb about yourself but keep to the point. This should include a short summary about yourself, including aspects from the past, present and future. Discuss qualifications or experience, what you are doing/hoping to do and what your career goals are.  Make it as catchy as possible. Avoid writing in the third person and stating over used phrases like, ‘I work well independently and within a team’. What is YOUR personal unique selling point?!

Don’t – Use Linkedin as you would Facebook! Got wasted last night? Hooked up with some guy last night? Facebook may care but Linkedin certainly won’t. Keep it professional and informative. Talk about the latest news or innovation within a certain industry. The pitfalls of e-commerce or the advantages of virtual reality.

Do – Cross promote! Link all your social media together, unless you want to keep professional and personal social media sites separate.

Do – Google yourself to see how you may be perceived by a future boss! Clean up your social media presence! Don’t let an embarrassing photo ruin your chances of getting your dream job!

Do – Add your accomplishments, certificates and examples of your work, whether it’s a website, best essay, blog or even upload your CV.

Do – Use Linkedin to prep yourself before an interview. If you know the hiring manager or interviewer, research them! See blog post ‘Ace The Interview!’

Do – State your best qualities, abilities, talents and experience. At the bottom of your Linkedin profile you’ll find endorsements. Good at researching? State it. Endorse others on their skills and you will most likely be endorsed too – just don’t badger people! In addition, write recommendations. Helping others will help yourself!

I hope this helps!

Good Luck

Love Career Girl

xo