5 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Ignore Google+ in Your Job Search

Most job seekers I talk to rely solely on LinkedIn as their main online tool for finding contacts for their job search and being found by decision makers. LinkedIn is a fabulous resource, but Google+ can be used to supplement a job seeker’s strategy and open new doors that could be challenging to open when relying exclusively on the power of LinkedIn. Here are five reasons why job seekers shouldn’t ignore Google+ and why it’s a viable platform that can be integrated into a search campaign.

Google+ is a social network built by the company that’s held the rank of the #1 search engine for years. Updates become visible to the public via a simple Google search. Posting updates can help position you as a thought leader in your field and a desirable candidate.

G+ marathon
Google+ is a social network indexed by Google. Its main function is to make it easy for people to discover you. Google actively searches Google+ for content others might be looking for. This gives you an opportunity to get information to your audience and build a strong digital footprint. Most hiring managers and recruiters Google candidates before they ever call them in for an interview. By creating a profile/bio on Google+ you take control of your professional identity and make it easier for people to find you. Google+ profiles will rank high in the search engines when people Google you.

G+ profile

YouTube is integrated with Google and is the #2 search engine. Using YouTube enhances the social aspects of Google+ and opportunities to share. When you comment on YouTube videos that are relevant to your professional identity, these comments can also be posted on Google+. And if you create YouTube videos to showcase your expertise, these videos can be linked to on your Google+ page.

G+ YouTube

 

G+ YouTube 2

The barrier to entry on Google+ is much lower than on LinkedIn where someone must accept you as a connection or friend. On Google+ you can add anyone. This means it may be easier to connect with someone on Google+ than on LinkedIn where you have to generally prove you have some sort of relationship with a contact in order to connect.

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Zuckerberg G+
You can see who is following whom on Google+ unlike Facebook and LinkedIn where you need to be a friend or connection. This can make it easier to source decision makers and widen your professional circles.

G+ circles

6 Things No Job Seeker Needs to Hear

bad adviceEveryone wants to help a friend in need. But before you start dishing out advice to a friend who is in a job search, make sure your advice and comments are actually helpful. Consider these typical comments/suggestions that many well-meaning friends make during someone’s job search. Are you really helping or could you be massaging your message to add more value to your friend’s search strategy?

I’m sure things will pick up soon. This is a cop out on your part and just a way to make the conversation an easier one for you. Show some genuine empathy and let your friend know that you understand that looking for a job is difficult and that you are there for him and are willing to offer emotional support.

I can’t believe someone with your experience hasn’t been snatched up yet. Most friends say this in an effort to make the person feel better and boost their confidence. But saying this actually deflates confidence. Unless you’ve been through a job search before, you probably have no idea what’s involved. The average search for executives generally takes a minimum of nine months. Remind your friend that he has valuable skills to offer and his patience and persistence will pay off. Job search is a marathon, not a sprint.

It’s brutal out there; I have another friend who has been out of work for 18 months.Perhaps you are trying to make your friend feel better by showing him he is not alone in his struggles. But comparing two people’s job searches is like comparing apples and oranges. So many factors including the person’s profession, industry, geography, years of experience, resume, quality of their network, and general search strategy can influence the length of the search. Rather than focus on what you think is the norm for a job search, concentrate on ways you can help your friend accelerate theirs. Invite him to events or social functions where you think he may be able to meet people to expand his network or offer to introduce him to one of your colleagues.

Let me take a look at your resume; maybe I can offer some suggestions. Unless you screen or write resumes on a regular basis, don’t offer to critique someone else’s. What you think looks professional may not be what hiring authorities, recruiters, and applicant tracking softwares are looking for. Refer your friend to a professional resume writer instead.

Have you posted your resume on any job boards? I hear a lot of people are using (insert job board here). Believe me, most job seekers have already explored this option with minimal results. Hearing the suggestion from you is like rubbing salt into a wound. Rather than recommending he show up at a job board party with thousands of other applicants, offer him an introduction to someone in your network.

Maybe you should start your own business. You’ve always been good at (fill in the blank). While your suggestion has good intentions, your friend might not be ready to wrap his head around the concept of starting their own business. And he might not really be cut out for it either. Starting a business requires an enormous amount of thought, time, energy, and introspection. It is generally not an ideal short-term solution to a job loss.

If you have a friend who is in a job search, offer him a meal, an ear, an introduction, and your time. He will get much more mileage out of that kind of support than he will from often misplaced suggestions for what he should be doing. Don’t focus on the quick fix solution; instead focus on supporting him and being there for him.

Stop Trying to Define a Salary Range for Moms

momsOver the years a few annual surveys have come out about working and stay-at-home mothers right around Mother’s Day. Salary.com has the How Much Are Mom’s Worth? salary wizard which calculates how much someone would be paid for all of the jobs moms do (teacher, cook, chauffeur, etc) and reminds moms that all the work they do is worth a six-figure salary even though they never actually see a dime. And the CareerBuilder’s Working Mothers Survey published a few years back reported that close to a quarter of working moms take work home and reminds moms that they are not alone in feeling guilty about not spending more time with their kids. So I never head into Mother’s Day weekend with a warm and fuzzy feeling; instead I grumble as I wash dishes that should be at least a $10 an hour job and wallow in my feelings of being underpaid and overworked.

The surveys seem to suggest that working moms don’t spend nearly the amount of quality time with their kids as their moms did. But is this really the case? My friends and I often joke around about our moms and how they opened the door and said “Go out and play and don’t come back until lunch.” And when we returned for lunch we had about 15 minutes before mom opened that door again and said “Don’t come back until dinner.” Yet we all managed to make it to adulthood without being emotionally scarred and we have fond memories of our childhood and our moms.

I’ve decided that working mother guilt is “so 2005″ and I’m moving past it. And as for the “working for nothing” side of the equation, I’ve come to the conclusion that sometimes the times you spend doing those seemingly thankless chores, making the extra batch of brownies for the school bake sale, or playing that third mind-numbing Game of Life are memories you end up cherishing for life that can’t be replaced by any monetary compensation.

While I was writing this post my daughter called to chat. I told her I was working. I could sense she was offering me a classic eye roll. But ten minutes later I put the post on hold to chat. It was just ten minutes to reconnect and hear about her day. Maybe she would have liked 20 minutes. But she got 10 and 20 minutes wouldn’t have necessarily made it a better conversation nor would it have made me a better mother. Working moms give a lot. And kids know that and they like their moms just the way they are. Happy Mother’s Day!

Stress and Sedentary Behavior Leads to Weight Gain at Work

weight gainAccording to a recent CareerBuilder survey, the stresses associated with full-time employment may be a contributing factor to weight gain among US employees. Of the 3,000 people surveyed, 57 percent of workers feel they are overweight. The survey also revealed:

– Extremely high-stressed workers were 49 percent more likely to be overweight than those under extremely low stress

– 63 percent of workers with wellness benefits/gym access do not use them

– Professional & business services/IT workers most likely to gain weight at present jobs

– 42 percent of workers say they’ve gained weight in their present job

When asked what they felt contributed to their weight gain at their current job, 37 percent of workers said “eating because of stress,” and 43 percent said they are “too tired from work to exercise.” Fifty-six percent said “sitting at the desk most of the day” contributed to the weight gain at their present job.

I recently had a conversation about on the job healthy eating and fitness habits with Stephanie Mansour, a health and fitness expert and facilitator of corporate wellness programs for top firms like GE, owner of Step it Up With Steph, and featured trainer on Chicago-based weight loss reality show Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is.  She offered these tips for managing your waistline on the job.

  1. Don’t forgo breakfast and a mid morning snack in favor of a huge lunch where you are likely to be so hungry that you overeat. It’s best to eat 5 small meals each day to keep hunger pangs at bay and keep blood sugar levels stable.
  2. Schedule your exercise time in your calendar like you would any other important appointment.
  3. If you plan to go out after work with colleagues, schedule an exercise session first. Yoga can help you become more mindful in your eating and cardio exercise will help you burn some of those extra calories you may consume while you are out with colleagues.
  4. If you don’t have time to go to the gym during your workday, run up and down the stairs a few times or do some stretches in your chair or at your desk.
  5. If you plan to exercise during your lunch hour but don’t want to return to the office drenched in sweat, wear a headband to absorb sweat or perform yoga or Pilates exercises that work the muscles without working up too much of a sweat.
  6. Make each decision separate from the last one. Just because you began the day eating badly doesn’t mean you have to finish the day that way.

 

Famous and Infamous Office Romances

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According to a 2015 CareerBuilder Office Romance Survey, 37 percent of workers surveyed reported they have dated someone they have worked with and 24 percent of office romances involved a superior. Nearly 1 in 5 workers who have had an office romance (19 percent) have had an affair with a co-worker where one person involved was married at the time.

Here are 10 celebrities and famous politicians who were outed for an affair with a subordinate or co-worker.

1. Arnold Schwarzenegger

In 2011, Schwarzenegger fathered a child with a household staff member, Mildred Patricia Baena. As a result, Maria Shriver now holds the title of “Terminator” — of their marriage, that is.

2. Jude Law

Law was discovered cheating with his kids’ babysitter, Daisy Wright, in 2005, while he was engaged to Sienna Miller. In 2010 the couple got back together. Hopefully, Law has made alternative child-care arrangements.

3. David Letterman

Letterman admitted to having affairs with several Late Show staffers after a CBS news producer threatened to expose him unless he forked over $2M. It’s not clear how many staffers Letterman had affairs with, but let’s just say it would make a great Top 10 list.

4. Tiki Barber

Barber dumped his pregnant wife in 2010 for 23-year-old NBC intern, Traci Lynn Johnson. The ex-Giants superstar turned Today Show correspondent found himself in the middle of a media circus that was better than any Superbowl half-time show on record.

5. Mark Souder

The eight-term Indiana representative resigned in 2010 after admitting to an affair with a female aide, Tracy Jackson, who worked in his district office. Good to know Souder was a politician known for his support of traditional family values. Whoops!

6. Bill Clinton

President Clinton lied about his relationship with White House intern Monica Lewinsky in 1998 and then later admitted to the affair once the threat of DNA evidence on Lewinsky’s clothing was uncovered. Sometimes it pays to hold off on the dry cleaning.

7. John Edwards

Edwards admitted to an affair with 42-year-old campaign aide Rielle Hunter in 2008 while his wife Elizabeth Edwards battled cancer. It later was revealed that Edwards fathered a child with Hunter.

8. Brad Pitt & 9. Angelina Jolie

Pitt and Jolie met while filming “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” in 2004. Jennifer Aniston filed for divorce the following year. Seven years and six kids later, Brad and Angelina appear to still be together despite rampant reports of them splitting up.

10. Ethan Hawke

Hawke hooked up with 28-year-old Ryan Shawhughes while married to Uma Thurman. At the time, Shawhuges was working as the couple’s nanny. The couple’s divorce was finalized in 2005 and Hawke later had a child with Shawhughes. At least this time around he won’t have to pay for a babysitter.

The list could go on and on. Whom would you add?

Brian Williams and Others Who Damage Their Careers by Lying

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NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams has been suspended without pay following news that he misrepresented his account of an Iraq War mission in 2003. Unfortunately, Williams is not alone; many have misrepresented themselves on the job and some have escaped the career consequences better than others.

1. Chief Executive of RadioShack, Dave Edmondson

Edmondson claimed to hold degrees in psychology and theology from Pacific Coast Baptist College in California. He never graduated from this school. He handed in his resignation after the Fort Worth Star-Telegram broke the story. Edmondson went on to found EasySale, an Internet-based consignment and liquidation company.

2. CEO of Bausch & Lomb, Ronald Zarrella

Zarrella claimed he had a master’s in business administration from New York University. He started the program, but never graduated. Following the revelation, he forfeited his $1M bonus (but retained $1.1M in salary, incentives and stock), and still got to keep his job, where he stayed until 2008. He left following an extensive product recall and hundreds of product liability lawsuits.

3. Presidential Candidate, Joseph Biden Jr.

Biden claimed he attended Syracuse University College of Law on a full academic scholarship and graduated in the top half of the class. He actually received a partial scholarship based on financial aid and finished 76th in a class of 85. This incident, coupled with charges of speech plagiarism, resulted in Biden’s termination of his 1988 bid for the presidency. As we all know, his 2010 campaign had a different outcome.

4. FEMA Director, Michael Brown

Following the mishandling of the response to Hurricane Katrina and Brown’s resignation, discrepancies in Brown’s resume were uncovered. Brown claimed to have overseen the emergency services division for the city of Edmund, Okla. Sources revealed that Brown was an assistant to the city manager, which is more like an intern. Brown also claimed to have been a political science professor at the University of Central Oklahoma, but school officials said he was never a member of the faculty. Brown is now a radio show host.

5. Host of ‘Dinner Impossible,’ Robert Irvine

Irvine claimed he made Princess Diana’s wedding cake and worked in the White House kitchens. Food Network asked Irvine to “pack his knives and leave” after he was outed. Two years later, Irvine is featured on Food Network’s ‘Worst Cooks in America.’

6. Notre Dame football Coach, George O’Leary

O’Leary claimed to have a master’s degree in education from New York University and to have played college football at the University of New Hampshire. O’Leary attended NYU but did not receive a degree. He never earned a letter playing football and never played in a game. His first and last day on the job were just five days apart. O’Leary now coaches for the UCF Knights.

7. Harvard student, Adam Wheeler

After being expelled from Bowdoin College for plagiarism, Wheeler was admitted to Harvard University claiming he attended an elite high school and MIT. He claimed he wrote several books and he won prize and grant money with plagiarized work. He was outed when he applied for Rhodes and Fulbright scholarships and a professor noticed similarities between his application and the work of a colleague. After he was expelled, he crafted fictitious resumes that he planned to use to apply for an internship or to Yale or Brown University. He was arrested and charged with larceny and identity fraud.

8. Connecticut Attorney General, Richard Blumenthal

While campaigning for Connecticut’s U.S. Senate seat in 2010, Blumenthal claimed he served in Vietnam. He served in the Marine Corps reserve, but he never went to Vietnam. He won the election anyway.

9. MIT Dean of Admissions, Marilee Jones

Jones, who had been employed by MIT for 28 years, never received an undergraduate degree, despite allegedly claiming both master’s and bachelor’s degrees on her resume. She later landed a job as a consultant for the Berklee College of Music.

We’ll have to wait and see how Williams’ actions will ultimately impact his career.

 

Job Search Tips for Employees of RadioShack and Others Facing a Layoff

closed 2According to recent reports, RadioShack is preparing to shut down in a bankruptcy deal that would sell almost half its stores to Sprint and close the rest. And a similar layoff scene is playing out in many other well-known companies across the nation. Yet many people wait until the other shoe drops before making any plans about future employment. .

Even if you think your job is not in jeopardy today, you should always be proactively managing your career because stuff happens…quickly. Here are some things I hope employees at RadioShack (and elsewhere) do before the pink slip arrives.

Audit Your Resume. Review your resume to see if your document reads like a laundry list of job tasks or an accomplishment-focused, metrics-driven self-marketing tool. If your document screams vanilla, consider rewriting your resume or hiring a professional resume writer to help you. Do it now, before you are in “I need a job yesterday” mode.

Gather Testimonials. A great strategy for gaining the confidence of the hiring manager is to prove your value-add through supervisor, client, and vendor testimonials. These quotes may be added to your resume or showcased through the recommendations feature on LinkedIn. But it looks odd to add ten new testimonials right after you lose your job and it smacks of desperation. Build your online credibility consistently over time so you don’t have to scramble or beg for endorsements quickly once you loose your job.

Reconnect. Map out all the relationships you have fostered throughout your life and think of authentic ways to reconnect with those you may have lost touch with over the years.

Do a Favor for Someone. Maybe you have a friend that needs assistance with a home improvement project or some help watching their kids for a few hours while they run some important errands. Think of ways to help others. This makes you more top of mind with them should you need their help in the future.

Join a Professional Association. So many people ignore the benefits of being part of a professional organization and only join once they are in a job search. Since relationships in these circles may take time to build, it is much better to join and give back to your professional community before you start asking for information or job leads.

Volunteer. Become visible in communities that are important to you. Perhaps that is the PTA at your child’s school, the co-op board in your apartment building, or the local animal shelter. Help others and they are more likely to reciprocate.

Get a Flu Shot. Better yet, get a full check up and have your teeth cleaned as well. If you find yourself in a job search, you want to remain healthy and you also want to have these expenses covered while you can still take advantage of your company’s health insurance benefits.

Manage Your Finances. Do you know what you would do with your 401K or other investments if you lost your job tomorrow? Read up on your options or find a financial adviser to help you.

Avoid Toxic People. Stay away from people who are chronic complainers, repeatedly report on how much money they have lost, or continuously quote unemployment statistics. Instead find a buddy who can offer support, advice and friendship and possibly make important introductions that can help you down the line.

Spend Time With Your Family. Your family can provide tremendous comfort during stressful times. Eat meals together, read to your kids, and have some alone time with your spouse. Doing so can help relieve some of the tension you may be feeling if you are concerned about a possible job loss and remind you of all the ways you are blessed.

Potential Workplace Bullying Leads to Tragedy

bullyRecently, New York City was the scene of two work-related suicides. In one instance, a Home Depot employee shot his boss and then killed himself and in the other, a former employee of Fox shot himself to death outside the company’s New York headquarters. In the first case, we know there was an argument between the supervisor and employee; in the second case, the employee had been seen shortly before his death handing out fliers saying the company had ended his career and suggesting on different social media channels that he was the victim of workplace bullying. Whether this was indeed the case in either incident, it’s clear that there is a strong perception that workplace bullying exists.

According to a 2014 National Workplace Survey conducted by The Workplace Bullying Institute, 27 percent of those surveyed reported current or past direct experience with abusive conduct at work

What is workplace bullying?

Workplace bullying is the tendency of individuals or groups to use persistent aggressive or unreasonable behavior against a co-worker or subordinate. The abuse displayed may be verbal, non verbal, psychological, or physical.

Bullying can take the form of the obvious (such as being berated in front of colleagues, being gossiped about, or being the target of office pranks) as well as the not so obvious (not being included in important meetings, not having your phone calls or e-mails returned, or getting the silent treatment from co-workers or supervisors). Any of these actions can have a detrimental effect on employees.

Why does workplace bullying occur?

A tough economy may be perpetuating bullies in the work force. People are under an enormous amount of stress and expectations for worker productivity are high — despite the fact that employees are being forced to do more with less. Managers are under pressure to get work done through their teams. If they are successful, those managers may receive positive rewards or promotions, fueling the cycle of abuse. And subordinates may be fearful that if they complain about inappropriate management practices they will lose their jobs.

What are the effects of workplace bullying?

Bullying can take an enormous toll on the victim’s health. According to the Workplace Bullying Institute, the stress can lead to debilitating anxiety, panic attacks, clinical depression, and post-traumatic stress or physical health problems including cardiovascular problems, adverse neurological changes, immunological impairment, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome.

How do I know if I’m being bullied?

The Workplace Bullying Institute suggests using the following checklist to determine whether you may be the victim of workplace bullying:

Experiences outside work:

Experiences at work:

How can I deal with a workplace bully?

Katherine Crowley, author of ‘Working for You Isn’t Working for Me‘ and ‘Working for You is Killing Me,’recommends the four Ds — detect, detach, depersonalize and deal.

Detect involves naming/documenting the bullying behaviors that you are witnessing or experiencing — document what is happening and how the bully is targeting you (or others).

Detach is to take a step away from the bullying by taking actions to restore your energy, repair your emotional state, and rebuild your confidence. Bullies take a serious toll on our health — mental, emotional and physical. It’s extremely important to counteract the negative effects of being bullied. Seek counsel for your mental health; exercise to release the toxins for your physical health; spend time with people who believe in you for your confidence.

To Depersonalize is to understand that you aren’t the first target and you won’t (unfortunately) be the last. It’s not about you — although bullies try to make it seem that way. This person is sick and taking out his or her illness on you.

Finally, Deal by taking some kind of action. You can report your experience to someone in the company who is in a position to do something about it. If no one is willing to address the bully, you may have to leave.

You may need help from others in order to manage the situation. Consider enlisting the help of a career coach, counselor, or mental health professional. A few other books to take a look at are ‘The Bully at Work,’ ‘The No Asshole Rule,’ ‘What Would Machiavelli Do?,’ ‘Can They Do That?,’ and ‘Brutal Bosses and Their Prey.

How to Use Facebook as a Job Search Tool

Many people use Facebook on a regular basis to stay in touch with friends and family, but few recognize the value Facebook can play in a job search. Most people find their jobs through people they know, and the affinities on Facebook are perhaps the strongest of any social networking platform. While we might connect with someone on LinkedIn, Google+ or Twitter that we don’t know very well (or at all), we are much less likely to do so on Facebook. The quality of the connections on Facebook lends itself to fertile ground for immediate and meaningful networking. Here are tips for getting the most out of the Facebook platform.

  • Fill in all information about your work and education. While people tend to complete their profile on sites like LinkedIn, far fewer take the time to do so on Facebook. Completing the work and education section on Facebook makes it much easier for people to understand your experience should you reach out to them for job opportunities. The more complete the about section is, the greater the likelihood that decision makers will be able to find you.

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  • Use Graph Search to find people who may be able to help you with your search.  Search profiles of users based on keywords. For example, if you are a financial services professional and one of your target companies is JPMorgan Chase in New York City, type “people who work at JPMorgan Chase in New York, New York” into the search box and see what results are returned. You may be able to source people who work there who you have a mutual connection with or just message them directly to make an introduction. Results will vary depending on how much information that person has completed on their about page and what level of privacy they have set.

FB Graph Search for blog

  • Troll company pages to learn more about companies you are targeting and engage with potential decision makers. Most companies have well-developed Facebook presences and many even have separate pages for people interested in working for them. Reviewing these pages can give you a window into a company’s culture and what makes it a great place to work. Job postings, open houses, and internships may be posted there as well. People who are in all professional roles including the C-suite, can learn a great deal from these company pages that can help them speak intelligently about the company’s culture and values during job interviews. Go a step further and “Like” the company page so you can see their activity in your feed and be part of the conversation.

VMware blog post

  • Follow groups based on functional roles. Facebook has pages with resources for many professionals. Key in your functional area of expertise and peruse the conversations going on there. Request to become a member of the group to comment and be part of the conversation.

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  • Review groups  for leading professional associations within your industry. Professional associations are a great networking resource and supplementing live meetings with virtual engagement can be a great way to boost your network.

SHRM

Facebook can be a great addition to your social media strategy and offer you an opportunity to source leads on a platform that most people haven’t considered as an integral part of their search. Don’t miss out!

 

Job Posting Translation Guide

GreekI’ve viewed thousands of job postings, followed thousands of clients through the interview process and listened to what hiring managers tell recruiters they really want in a candidate. Unfortunately, many of the job postings I see are far from transparent and use vague euphemisms to describe what the hiring manager wants or what the work environment is like. Here’s my interpretation of the message behind the “qualifications” I often see listed on job postings.

  1. Motivated – morale here stinks and we are hoping you can fix that.
  2. Ability to delegate – this job is way too much for one person to handle.
  3. Energetic – we want to hire someone born after 1978.
  4. Team player – everyone hated the last guy in this job.
  5. Flexible – It’s ok for us to call, message or text you at any time.
  6. Eager – You will be excited to work for a salary that is not competitive.
  7. High level of integrity – no one trusted the guy you would be replacing.
  8. Ability to multi-task – we are really disorganized here.
  9. Ability to work in a fast-paced environment – we are generally reactive, not proactive.
  10. MBA preferred – we might interview you, but we will drop you like a hot potato if we find another candidate with an MBA.
  11. Bachelor degree required – we realize having a Bachelor degree has no logical correlation with your ability to do the job, but by screening non-degree applicants out from the get-go it makes our jobs easier.
  12. Bilingual English-Spanish candidate preferred – no actually, bi-lingual skills are a deal breaker.
  13. Proficiency in Microsoft Office – we don’t have a budget for an administrative assistant.

Certainly not all job postings are bad and some companies do a great job of explaining who their perfect candidate is and what it’s really like to work there. But far too many create cryptic messaging and then complain of a “talent shortage” when the “wrong” candidate applies. Tell it like it is, say what you mean and keep it real. You might just end up with your perfect hire after all.