Can I have a moment of your time?

Businesspeople in the office

At some point in your professional life you’ll have to give an elevator speech. Elevator speeches are roughly 30 seconds long and explain to a potential employer why you’re the right person for the job. The speech is essentially your personal mission statement.

While employers want to make sure you are properly qualified for the position, they do not have the time to listen to a detailed and drawn out description of your job background.

So, it is important that your message is clear and concise. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  1. Define the purpose of your elevator speech: Obviously, the main purpose of an elevator speech is always to land the job. However, in order to do that, you must know what the job requires and how your qualifications and career goals fit the job description.

2. Briefly explain your current job position and previous industry-related work experience and success:

This helps to show that you have drawn comparisons between previous skills that industry-related work has required of you and how those skills relate to the position you’re applying for. It also confirms to a hiring manager that you have the necessary amount of experience for the position.

3Keep your audience in mind: Choose every word carefully. Stay away from industry-jargon that would confuse anyone, even a company CEO. Also remember, that the most important thing piece of information an employer wants to know about you is how you can benefit their company.

4. Practice: While you are trying to initiate a genuine dialogue with a potential employer you’re still essentially making a sales speech. You want to exude confidence and ensure at the end of the speech a potential employer has learned everything that you want them to know about you.

 

Remember, the elevator speech is a window that can open to a more in-depth conversation regarding your job strengths and weaknesses. So, simplify now and elaborate later.

USF Career Success Center

Tower Hall N204

MWF 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

References:

Collamer, N. (4 February 2013). The perfect elevator pitch to land a job. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/nextavenue/2013/02/04/the-perfect-elevator-pitch-to-land-a-job/#4073e3e01b1d

Doyle, A. (13 April 2017). Elevator speech examples and writing tips. Retrieved from https://www.thebalance.com/elevator-speech-examples-and-writing-tips-2061976

Think all social media platforms are the same? Think again.

Social Media Applications - Facebook and Twitter

Last time, we talked about the importance of monitoring your social media because employers will be too. Just as important, however, is making sure that your content is appropriate for the platform that it’s on.

While social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter serve the same purpose, to connect networks of individuals together, the way that each platform reaches this goal is different and is based on what they can offer to their users.

For example, Facebook allows users to send friend requests, messages, and post updates about their lives, with photos and videos while also allowing the user to tag people or places into their conversations.

According to Forbes.com, users are also able to classify their friends into subnetworks based upon their relationships to those friends—personal or professional—in order to ensure their content is targeted towards the right people.

And, job seekers should be writing and sharing content with people in their professional Facebook networks as well as engaging with other’s content.

Unlike Facebook, Twitter requires you to be more selective about what you share and who follows you as it doesn’t allow you to filter who sees your posts. However, like Facebook, Twitter lets its users create networks or “lists” of people based upon specific keywords e.g. “industry professionals”.

According to LifeLearn.com, while this capability doesn’t allow you to directly communicate with users that you aren’t following, Twitter will notify them when they have been put on your list. If they decide to check out your profile and like what they see, they may be persuaded to connect with you.

Likewise, users are also able to track direct mentions of their company or individual profile to find out what people are saying about them or their brand. Twitter Analytics also allows users to track them following their tweets are receiving to see what topics their followers are interested in.

Despite these differences, Facebook and Twitter do share commonalities. For example, Facebook and Twitter allow users to find content easily through the use of hashtags.

A feature that was once exclusive to Twitter, now allows Facebook users to discover what industry news is trending and which industry professionals are following the hashtag. Users can then share—retweet on Twitter—pertinent information on industry topics from those professionals.

Social media is your key to making professional connections. Learn how these networks function to make sure you’re making the most of what they have to offer.

USF Career Success Center

Tower Hall N204

MWF 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

References

Adams, S. (6 February, 2014). 4 ways to use facebook to find a job. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/susanadams/2014/02/06/4-ways-to-use-facebook-to-find-a-job/#16480f0f1fab

LifeLearn. (9 May 2014). 7 things you may not know about twitter lists (and why you should care). Retrieved from http://www.lifelearn.com/2014/05/09/7-things-may-know-twitter-lists-care/

Schiff, L. J. (25 November 2013). 14 ways to use twitter to market your business. Retrieved from http://www.cio.com/article/2380667/twitter/14-ways-to-use-twitter-to-market-your-business.html

 

Is your social media up to par?

Social Media - strategy conceptIn 2016, a study from CareerBuilder.com, found that last year, 86% of employers consulted potential hires’ social media pages before deciding to make an offer.

This should come as no surprise in an age where social media takes up much of our time and allows us to share our lives as well as our thoughts and opinions instantaneously.

While social media can be a vehicle for self-expression, it is a vehicle for first impressions too, so it is important that you are presenting an honest yet professional version of yourself. Here are ten things to keep in mind when posting online.

  • Show that you know how to use social media: Just because employers may be looking at your Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn does not mean you should be scared to use them.

 In fact, 41% of respondents in the CareerBuilder survey reported that they were unlikely to hire job candidates that did not have an online presence.

So, create that LinkedIn profile or professional Facebook Page.

On both Facebook and LinkedIn, join and participate in career-focused discussion groups. Show potential employers that you have a genuine interest in industry conversations and have the expertise and thoughtful opinions to share.

  • Show that you are articulate: According to the CareerBuilder survey Jobvite.com, 36% of employers look to see that potential hires are communicating clearly online. Are your commas in the right places? Are you spelling words correctly and using correct tenses and proper sentence structure?

If not, you may want to correct those errors. If an employer catches a big mistake, such as the misspelling of several words or improper capitalization, this may leave the impression that you don’t care to present the best version of yourself and may not work to represent the company well.

  • Be creative and strategical in how you use social media: Especially if you’re applying for a marketing or graphic design position, it’s important to show employers that you are able to bring something fresh to their organization.

Are you creating a personal website? Link to the content that you create whether it be logos, photos you take or content you write. Show potential employers what you have to offer them.

Share articles or videos that are pertinent to your industry. Share your opinions and encourage others to do the same in a constructive way.

Don’t:

Set your social media profiles to private: Not only will this make it easier for you to find and make connections but it also puts potential employers at ease.

According to Monster.com, setting your social media profile to private leaves employers to assume that you have something to hide. Do not lose out on a job opportunity because you chose to keep your profile private, even though, you have nothing to hide.

If you do have something to hide; remove it.

 Badmouth previous employers or coworkers: While social media may seem like a diary to vent your frustrations, remember that everyone, including potential employers, can read what you write.

Do not give off the impression that you are unable to exhibit self-restraint and to find productive ways of dealing with your emotions. If you must speak out about work online ensure that you are able to show potential employers that you have found a positive resolution to your problem.

 Use profanity: According to Jobvite, 63% of employers say that the use of profanity on a job candidate’s Facebook page is a put-off. Swearing comes off as aggressive and sometimes crude, two characteristics that you do not want employers associating with your personality.

Social media is a great resource for connecting with potential employers and other industry professionals. Remember, however, that once someone clicks on to your page they are receiving an impression of you whether it is one you intended or not.

USF Career Success Center

Tower Hall N204

MWF 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

References:

Kasper, K. (February 17, 2015). Jobvite infographic: Watch what you post on social media. Retrieved from http://www.jobvite.com/blog/jobvite-infographic-watch-post-social-media/

Thottam, I. (2017). These social media mistakes can actually disqualify you from a job. Retrieved from https://www.monster.com/career-advice/article/these-social-media-mistakes-can-actually-disqualify-you-from-a-job

Number of Employers Using Social Media to Screen Candidates Has Increased 500 Percent Over the Last Decade (2016, April 8). Retrieved from http://www.careerbuilder.com/share/aboutus/pressreleasesdetail.aspx?ed=12%2F31%2F2016&id=pr945&sd=4%2F28%2F2016