Category Archives: Job Search

Graph Search: Your Job Search, Facebook Style

graph-searchThe internet is aflutter with reactions to the new Facebook Graph Search, rolled out this month at Facebook headquarters (if you haven’t yet, get in line for a Graph Search beta invite). Graph Search takes all the information Facebook users have supplied to their public profile, and allows you to filter by interest, work history, location and so on. You can set up some pretty hyper-targeted queries – “friends of my friends who like surfing and road trips in Oregon” – and while that makes the feature tremendously powerful, it also opens the door for some scary privacy implications. (Entrenched citizens of Facebook, stop me if you’ve heard this one before.)

It’s a nifty, versatile tool that leverages Facebook’s uniquely massive database of user information to unearth new connections. While there’s lots of talk that Graph Search will disrupt the online dating industry (with good reason), we think it will make similar waves in the job search space.

Let’s look at it from both sides – how it will help companies source new candidates, and how it can expedite your job search. We’ll also help you tweak your privacy settings to broadcast your employment credentials while hiding sensitive information.

How Recruiters Will Source Candidates With Graph Search

Graph Search opened up a rabbit hole for candidate sourcing that is as deep as recruiters are clever.  Currently, LinkedIn is every recruiter’s stomping grounds: it hosts the work history of 200 million professionals, and the advanced search capabilities to pick through them with ease. Facebook doesn’t have the professional focus, but it does have a whopping 1 billion users. Recruiters will be forced to add Graph Search to the arsenal (at least the smart ones will), because they won’t find those candidates anywhere else.

Here’s how a recruiter might use Graph Search to hunt down local graphic designer candidates.

Using Graph Search to source Graphic Designers in Boston.

Let’s look at a more targeted example. Say we need a developer, and we want the cream of the crop. We’ll tell Facebook to search for “friends of Google employees” – because that demographic probably hangs out with other talented, motivated, like-minded people. We include two more filters: the keyword “developer,” and the employment year 2008 (to set a 5 year experience threshold). Here we go:

Graph Search for developers with 5+ yrs. experience who knows Google employees

If you’re a recruiter looking for candidates, you see the value in mining these results. If you’re a jobseeker looking for work, you probably see the value of showing up in these results. On the other hand, most recruiters already screen candidates through Google and LinkedIn, and you can bet the same critical eye will turn toward Graph Search results.

What this all means: it’s time for another pass on your privacy settings, to publicly broadcast your employment history, while protecting sensitive information. We’ll walk you through the necessary changes.

Optimize Your Facebook Profile for Graph Search

Facebook allows you to fill out your Work History, but it’s a little bit buried with the recent design changes. Click “Update Info” just underneath your cover photo on the right side of the page. Your work history may be outdated, or maybe it’s blank:

An empty Work and Education section.

To remedy that, visit your LinkedIn profile. (Don’t have one? We’ve got a fantastic guide to get you set up.)

To prepare for Graph Search, copy experience from your LinkedIn profile to Facebook.

Copy there. Paste here:

Fill out the Work History section on Facebook.

Assuming your LinkedIn profile is keyword-optimized to show up in search results, you should receive similar benefits in Graph Search. Tinker with your descriptions all you like, but there are two insanely important things you need to do or else all the previous work is for naught.

1. Make sure your Work and Education section is public. Graph Search respects privacy settings, and if your entire profile is friends-only due to previous privacy scares (which mine was), you won’t show up in search results until you make this section public. So go ahead and click that world icon and choose “Public.”

Graph Search Privacy Settings

2. Click “Done Editing.” (Before you do, marvel at my amazing MS Paint arrow.)

Make sure you choose "Done Editing" before you leave the page.

Great! Now anyone can search your work credentials through Graph Search. The last step is to make sure they don’t find anything else you want them to find.

The Extra Mile

Now that you’ve copied your resume over to Facebook, it’s time to strip your profile of potentially incriminating material, so you don’t lose an offer before it ever graces your inbox. We recommend reading up on the red flags recruiters look for on your profiles. (Total shock to me, by the way: poor spelling and grammar is more damning than your infamous college drinking pics. Who knew?)

Then, click the gear icon under your cover photo and select “View As…”

Double check your privacy settings.

…and make sure you’re viewing your profile as Public, so you can review which information you’re making available to Graph Search. From here, go over all your information with a fine-toothed comb, and pull down anything (pictures, NSFW status updates, embarassing old Likes) you don’t want leaking into your professional life. In addition, you can supplement your profile with extra skills or qualities that might give you a leg up – list foreign languages you know, or declare an interest in the field you want to break into.

Once again, when you have everything sorted out, make sure you click “Done Editing.” As soon as you do, you’re totally Graph Search optimized – your work history and special talents are broadcast for all to see, while your private interactions are on lockdown.

From here, just leave it to work its magic while you focus your job search efforts elsewhere. Once recruiters find Facebook Graph Search, they’ll start finding you as well.

Conquering Craigslist: How to Find The Diamond in the Rough

Let’s be honest, Craigslist is hardly the most reputable of job boards. While it might have some sweet deals on old vinyl collections, endless amounts of free (yet questionable) furniture, or openings for those minimum wage jobs that paid for the ‘extra-curricular’ aspects of our college years, it doesn’t often spring to mind as a useful tool for a serious career search.

While it may not be ideal,  its enormous presence (over 40 million classifieds added each month,) can’t easily be overlooked. Craigslist serves as a great tool that offers legitimate career opportunities and if you’re willing to formulate a solid game plan, pinpoint some common red flags, and put in the effort to set yourself apart from the masses, we’re confident some hidden gems will start to show their faces.

One of Craigslist’s greatest strengths, the no-cost postings, is also one of its greatest weaknesses. The free service is a draw for the typical jaded job seeker, but it also opens the door for unchecked scams and garbage postings. Luckily, there are some dead giveaways to help weed out the rotten eggs.

Red Flags to Avoid

Jobs lacking a company name, or with an anonymous, randomized email, are rarely used by respected employers and should raise up one those red flags. Postings with vague or overly broad qualifications should get the flags up too, as these are often just ‘phishing’ tricks made to acquire as many replies as possible for dubious ends. In the same vein, postings asking for too much personal information are phishy (pun intended) too. Most personal information can be saved until after first contact is made, so it’s better to be safe than sorry and withhold that information.

Lastly, the most important and perhaps most obvious red flag: never, ever entertain a posting asking for monetary exchanges. You want a job to make money, not to lose it. Craigslist offers a pretty strong search system, so with some smart key word utilization and the diligence to avoid the red flags listed above, the good jobs will start to pop up.

Do Your Research

After sifting through the noise and pinpointing some appealing job prospects, you won’t be out of the woods just yet. Be sure to research the company making the posting, to confirm it is legitimate and that you’ll feel comfortable joining their workforce. With Facebook’s new Graph Search feature finally reaching the public, a whole new avenue of company research has opened up and it would behoove anyone in need of work to take advantage of it.
Also make sure to  cross-reference the company with your LinkedIn network for potential connections. Job seekers with in-house references are 14 times more likely to be hired than those without. Just an extra half hour of work will put you heads and shoulders above others on the Craigslist job hunt. Don’t be lazy!

Do you believe Craigslist can be a viable resource in the search for sound employment? Have any Craigslist success (or horror) stories to share? Drop us a line in the comments.

Stop Wasting Time: 5 Mobile Apps To Expedite Your Job Search

Waiting is a part of everyday life. Everyone does it at some point during the day, whether it’s waiting for a bus, waiting in line, waiting for an appointment, or waiting for a friend. All this waiting can add up throughout the week and can easily become lost opportunity to do many other things.

Smartphones offer us a respite from this wasted time, though. While it may be fun to scroll through sepia tinged photos of what a friend ordered at Olive Garden, you can just as easily fill that time doing something productive. Though you may not have the resources of a fully functioning computer at your disposal, there are a good amount of apps out there that can help keep your mind sharp and your job hunt chugging. We’ve compiled a list of just five of the many apps that can keep you ahead of the game and allow you to stop wasting time.

JobMo

What it’s good for: Finding open jobs

First thing’s first, let’s find what jobs are actually out there. Kiefer’s JobMo invites users to “Search Mo’ Jobs” with its easy to use app for tablets and smartphones. With millions of job openings in its database, salary comparisons, trend analysis, and an interactive map powered by Google, JobMohas a wealth of information and opportunity. The app also offers company and industry profiles, tips for interviewing, and allows the user to connect with other job seekers for added community insight and support.

LinkedIn

What it’s good for: Networking

LinkedIn is the most important professional networking tool out there today with over 200 million users.With the mobile app, it’s easy to take advantage of this enormous resource by researching relative organizations and professionals, staying up to date on industry headlines, or targeting and saving openings to tackle later on. Enabling the app’s push notification feature allows for lightning fast response time as well, showing potential employers that you mean business. LinkedIn is everywhere nowadays; make sure it’s everywhere you go too.

Evernote

What it’s good for: Managing your search

Now that you’ve got loads of job openings, connections, and opportunities at your disposal, don’t let them get lost in the shuffle! Evernote is an award winning organization app that lets you keep your life (both professional and personal) in order. Set goals with to-do lists, record voice memos on the fly, snap photos of business cards or job listings and then organize it all within the app’s simple folder system. The app can also be programmed to sync up with e-mail, social media accounts, and other devices you may own, keeping everything on the same page.

Interview Prep Questions

What it’s good for: Practicing before an interview

The Interview Prep Questions app reintroduces us to an old tool we’ve been using since the first grade: flash cards. Flipping through the virtual ‘stack of cards’ in the app’s data base exposes some of the most common questions an interviewer can ask. Seeing these questions in your downtime allows for some great brainstorming, and lets you avoid the whole ‘deer in the headlights’ moment we all fear. The app’s user reviews offer some validity to the questions posed by Interview Prep Questionstoo, as nearly everyone encountered more than one of the questions one they arrived at their interviews.

HootSuite

What it’s good for: Social Media Management

In today’s connected world, digital reputation is just as important as one’s reputation in real life. It’s essential to maintain a clean social media image and have leveraged your digital presence for your personal brand. HootSuite helps you keep everything in check.  The app allows you to manage almost all of your social media accounts under a single app. This makes daily upkeep a breeze, and lets you make sure that your brand is where it should be. It also allows for easier research with #hashtag tracking and statistic monitoring, and even has translation capabilities built-in.

Armed with these apps on your phone’s home screen, there’s no excuse to waste your time waiting anymore. Get ahead in your job search, and increase your productivity.

5 Job Search Cliches You Must Ignore

Avoid these 5 job search cliches.The job search industry is a lucrative one, mainly because the gatekeepers have something just about every adult in the world needs. And where the money goes, phony “experts” inevitably follow, hawking seminars and self-help books to make a quick dollar off of anxious job seekers. That doesn’t mean that every career coach is lecherous, or that you should ignore everything you hear – there’s plenty of wise, selfless advice floating around the space. But the noise to signal ratio is high, and we recommend thinking critically about which of the classic job search clichés are actually based on sound advice – and which is totally bogus.

Of course, with a lead-in like that, I leave myself open to the same criticism I dish out. But I’m ready to argue that you should ditch these 5 useless job search clichés for the good of your job search:

They Tell You: Looking for a job is a full-time job.

But Actually: Looking for a job is a full-time job…if you have no idea what kind of work you’re looking for, or haven’t mapped out a strategy for your search. Make a plan, do your career research, write different versions of your resume, learn where your ideal jobs make themselves available. Then, attack with focus.

They Tell You: Speak the company’s language – use the lingo in the job listing when you apply.

But Actually: Speak your own language. If a position gets 200 resumes and a half of them parrot the job description, the hiring company has 100 detail-oriented, self-starting team players – who are all totally indistinguishible from each other. You may not strike the right chord with the screener, but at least you won’t get lost in the background noise.

They Tell You: Money is always the last thing you bring up.

But Actually: Let’s say you’re interviewing for a position which (unbeknownst to you) is $10,000 below your salary range. What would you prefer – to go through four interviews with a group, an individual screener, a panel and a company executive, only to learn you’re too pricy for their organization? Or would you rather have this information sooner, so neither side wastes the other’s time? The sweet spot for bringing salary into the conversation is somewhere in the middle of the process. After a first or second interview gives them a solid grasp on who they’re working with, the salary figure helps them determine if they can scrape together a little extra for the right hire – or if you’re both wasting your time.

They Tell You: Be early to the interview.

But Actually: Be on time to the interview. Here’s what happens when you’re early: the receptionist calls the interviewer, who’s still in their previous meeting. When they get out and hear you showed up for your 1 o’clock at 12:20pm, here’s their inner monologue as they walk up to greet you: Is this candidate desperate? Do they have bad time management skills? Were they not paying attention to my em– ”Hey there, how you doing today?” And then you start your interview. Yikes.

They Tell You: Apply in person to make an impression.

But Actually: Apply however the company tells you to. This respects the fact that they have work to get done (as you soon will, hopefully), and shows you can follow the directions in the listing (the first “silent test” in the process, whether you know it or not).

Unfortunately, there’s plenty more bad advice out there – especially because hiring trends change, and outdated advice loses its value fast. What job search cliches have you boldly contradicted – and did it lead to success in your job search?