Networking 101: LinkedIn Messaging

Hi Guys, I hope you enjoyed my last post about Networking with Coffee Meetings.  You can check it out here if you'd like!

I wanted to share a little bit more advice I have learned along the way about LinkedIn messaging.  Now if you'd job searched before then you may know that LinkedIn is an amazing tool to help you connect with people and find jobs.  One of the things I found extremely helpful was connecting with people and sending them a message.

I had two ways I went about messaging people.  I either went for HR/Recruiters or someone that may be my potential boss.  I usually went for both of these routes on multiple companies. My reasoning for this was because human resources or recruiting usually knew best about the potential job openings. But I also found it really helpful to find someone who was a supervisor of the position I was looking at.  They can be very insightful on the position its self.  They know know if positions may be opening up sooner than HR.  This also makes an amazing impression and gives you an in to the company some times.

I had a template that I followed whenever I reached out to someone.  One thing you MUST do is make the message personal.  This takes a TON of time if you're reaching out to a lot of people.  I won't lie, but it does pay off.  

Make sure you personalize it with their name, say you're interested in the company, or a specific position you have seen. I would write about why I was interested and how my experience aligned.  

Make sure to keep it short and sweet.  These people are usually very busy and want you to get straight to the point.

I would also attach my resume and let them know how to get ahold of me.  If you don't hear back with someone don't be afraid to follow up in about a week.  Sometimes people forget to respond and it shows you're serious.  Do not message them every day though!

I found this method extremely helpful.  I learned about companies, made connections and someone once even told me they were leaving the company and to never work there for good reasons. 

I hope this method works for you! I'd love to hear about your experience and good luck to you if you are job searching!!

Networking 101: Coffee Dates

Hi Guys, so I was going through some of my popular content and I was seeing that you guys have found some of my job searching/career advice very helpful! So I have brainstormed more information on things that I have found useful.  Just a reminder that I worked on the recruiting side for a little and had my fair share of job searching.

Jumping right into today's post, one thing that REALLY helped me in a my job searching days was coffee dates.  If I had a contact or wanted to make one I would reach out to someone and ask to get coffee.  This is a nice more informal way to get some information, where it's about job openings, company culture or even just learning more about professions.  Coffee dates aren't just for job searching as well, you an also go to coffee dates with people in your company if you're interested in other positions and want more information!

Now just because these meetings are more informal that doesn't me don't look nice.  I would recommend business casual for these meetings. You still want to make a good impression!

Also most people are really open to coffee dates, which is awesome. Other people have been in your position and most people love talking about what they do.

Here are some of my tips to help you feel confident and prepared going into these meetings!

1. Bring a notepad - This is always helpful.  One it shows you're prepared. Two there have been many times that people have told me about resources or people and I have needed to jot them down.  Three it shows you're taking this meeting seriously.

2. Come with questions - People really do love talking about themselves, so I think its really helpful to come with questions asking how people got where they did if they have a position you're interested in. Make sure you have questions ready about the position and company culture.  Also don't just ask questions.  Make sure to chime in and add how your experience is relevant.  And connect the dots for the person about how you'd be a good fit.

3.  Try to get 3 new contact - My dad always told me this.  It seriously is such a good idea, a lot of the time people came ready with contact but if they didn't I asked if they knew of people I could reach out to.  This expands your networking group SO quickly.  I can't stress enough how helpful it is and also helps you constantly have more people to contact.

4. Offer to pay - Most people are older and will pay for your coffee but still this is a really nice gesture and goes a long way!

Soon I will be giving my advice on LinkedIn Messages.  So stay tuned! What do you think about Networking Coffee dates!

How to Ace Behavioral Interview Questions

Hi Friends, so I am going back to the roots of Life After Graduation a little with this post.  I know that soon there will be a lot of recent grads searching for jobs and I believe that from what I have learned/experienced there is one simple saying to help you answer ANY behavioral interview question.  Usually behavior questions are ones such as "Explain to me a time when..." or "Tell me about a time when you had to ..."  There are many variations of this question but one easy trick it to remember, STAR.

S - Situation

T - Task

A - Action

R - Result

First you want to "set the stage" and explain the situation that you were in so the interviewer understands, the specific task you had to complete, the action you took and what the result was.  Some people talk too much in a interview, I usually spoke too little but if I remembered STAR it helped me to answer the question in full and in sequence so I left less things out.  It really helps you to communicate and articulate your answer.  I also felt it comforting to know that with each of these questions no matter what it was I had the tools to answer it in full.  My recommendation if you are going into an interview soon is to google some common questions and write out your STAR answers.  This helps you to feel more comfortable going into the interview and confident answering.  Which is ALWAYS a plus. Here are five questions I was commonly asked:

  1. Give me an example of a time when you set a goal and were able to meet or achieve it.
  2.  Give me an example of when you showed initiative and took the lead.
  3. Tell me about a situation where you had to solve a difficult problem.
  4. Give me an example of a time when you motivated others.
  5. Describe a stressful situation at work and how you handled it.

As always make sure to like this post if you enjoy this content! And good luck if you are interviewing!!

Job Searching: January

Hi Friends! I hope you're having a great day! I wanted to squeeze in a post about job searching before the New Year's because in my experience January is big month for companies and it's best to hit the ground running.  January is particularly a great month because its the beginning of a lot of companies fiscal year or they have goals going into the new year. They know their business plan and are looking to hire. 

My advice, do your research.  Know what companies you want to reach out to and contacts you can get in touch with. Also apply to any applications you can.  Be patient as well, many people are taking vacations or catching up with years end and it may take some time for them to get back with you.  But in all job searching endeavors ALWAYS follow up. I know as a recruiter and someone job searching sometimes you read something and think you'll get to and never do.  When someone else takes the initiative it helps jog your memory and they become more memorable. 

If you are heavily job searching reach out to recruiters, friends and HR departments of companies you are looking at.  This will help circulate your name.  Also, always be willing to meet for coffee or hop on the phone to talk about your resume and what you are looking for.  This is how I have made some of my strongest connections and still keep in touch with people to this day.  

Happy New Year to you! I wish you success in your job searching!

Quick Tip: Resume Updating

Something I have learned as a young professional is that it is really important to keep an up to date resume on your computer at all times.  

One of the main reasons I have found is because we often forget some of the work we either do or are a part of.  Some of the smaller projects I have done have gotten the most attention when I bring it up in interviews and it’s really important to include on a resume. Sometimes it takes a little jogging of the memory though for it to pop up. Or I have way to often after an interview though “UGH I should have thought of this project I did.”

It’s also really good to update your resume and LinkedIn profile on a monthly basis just to make sure it stays relevant and you don’t sit stagnate just because you have a job.

Having an updated resume always at the ready is important because you never know when an opportunity could pop up.  It would be a shame when asked for one you have to scramble to put one together, or give an old resume.

It also helps to always refine your resume, making it the best version and viewing it with fresh eyes. When job searching you should always tailor your resume, but be on the lookout for that quick tip soon!!

I have found that updating on a monthly basis is just a simple thing that will really help you in the long run!

Do you have any tips on keeping your resume up to date?