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4 Questions to Ask When Networking

We often hear that it is beneficial to network, find a career mentor, etc., but how exactly do we get the most out of these interactions and relationships? We need to ask the right questions. Not everyone has the same experience, so check in and ask these questions of a few different people when networking. Try to source from a diverse range of people to see all angles.

What advice would you give to someone new to the industry/looking to get into the industry?

The answer to this question could save you valuable time and money. Find out what they thought was the most helpful thing they did in their career, what they believe may have been a waste, or what they wish they would have done.

What does your typical day look like?

You may be imagining what your life may look like pursuing a particular career path. It is essential to learn what each day looks like from someone who lives their life in the industry daily. It is easy to see only one aspect of a job/industry and assume that is how every day or every position goes, for good or for bad. When networking, get a few different people’s perspectives to better understand what your days may entail.

What do you find challenging about your position/the industry?

You do not want to be caught off guard with your head in the clouds. Find out what people struggle with in your industry and consider if these difficulties are some you are willing/able to deal with. Ask about anything you have seen from the outside that seems like an obstacle to get an experienced professional’s opinion. While networking is about connections, support, and learning new things, it is also crucial to learn the nitty gritty details.

What qualities do successful people possess in your field?

Knowing the general temperament and characteristics of people in the field can be an excellent way to gauge how well you may do in that career. It can be very helpful to know if your qualities can thrive and further your career in the field that you are looking to break into. If there are beneficial qualities that you can build on, spend some time strengthening them.

Networking is all about asking the right questions. These four questions are great jumping points for finding out more about jobs and asking specific questions.

How to Move Into a New Position Without Burning a Bridge

You have landed a new position, and it is time to resign from your current job. If you do not have significant problems with your current company, you may deem it important to leave on good terms with your ex-coworkers/company. Perhaps you would want to do business with them or even return to the company later in your career.

Be straight-forward

Without giving every dirty detail of why you are leaving/taking a new position, let your employer know why you are moving on. People appreciate honesty. Leaving your ex-boss in the dark as to why you left only causes confusion and could breed resentment if not handled correctly. Reasonable people respect reasonable reasons for leaving (i.e., higher pay, a shorter commute, better benefits). Anyone worth staying on good terms with will understand and send you off with well-wishes.

Be grateful

Express your gratitude for the time you have spent in that position. If you are especially thankful for anything specific, mention it! Let your coworkers know you are leaving before you go. Make sure to say goodbye to them before you walk out of the office for the last time and if you appreciated working with them, let them know. Stay connected and check in with those you value—you may be able to help each other out in the future.

Be prompt

As soon as you know you are leaving, let your employer know. It gives them as much time as possible to find your replacement. This way, you can help them prepare for the transition and possibly help to train the new employee. The last thing you want to do is make your employer feel like you left them high and dry with little warning. The more time you give them, the better.

Get excited about your new position! You deserve it. Just make sure to leave your current job with respect—you never know how you could benefit each other!

Growing Your Network

A good network is essential for career growth. Once you are out of an institution like a trade school or college, growing your network outside of those you work with directly can be challenging. Read below for a few ways to grow your online and in-person network!

Social Media

This may be a given but USE SOCIAL MEDIA! The first, and most obvious site, is LinkedIn. Find people in your area with which you have some things in common (e.g., your alma mater, job title, previous work experience). Use these connection points to reach out to the person and ask to have a call or meet up. You can also use social media websites like Facebook and Instagram to find peers and mentors. You can join a group like those outlined here to find people who are also looking to grow their businesses and networks. Look for groups on Facebook/pages on Instagram that focus on your field to connect with other professionals. Don’t be shy—send a personal direct message to people you would like to get to know!

Conferences/Workshops/Courses

Search for events and classes in your area. You can use websites like this to search your specific field and location. Not only can courses and conferences help you stay up to date on the latest in your field, but they can also help you meet others in your area of work and those adjacent. The people you meet at these events will likely be passionate about the field and looking to network as well; otherwise, they probably wouldn’t be there!

Family/Friends/Neighbors

ALWAYS check in with people you have personal relationships with! You never know who your people may have contact with. Ask the people that surround you if they know anyone in your field/the field you want to break into and see if they would be willing to put you in contact with that person. Doing so may allow you to reach different populations of the workforce that may not be present online or at events, i.e., the older people in the field. Your elders may have some precious wisdom to impart and some valuable connections.

Getting jobs and growing in your career is all about who you know. Put in the work, get to know people, and thrive in your industry!

Using LinkedIn Effectively and Professionally

LinkedIn has turned into more than just a networking site. Some people have begun to treat it similarly to social media websites like Facebook. LinkedIn even has selected “LinkedIn Influencers,” approved to create notable content for the site. How do you navigate a content-sharing website with everything from promotion announcements to status updates about someone making it through their most recent breakup?

Share Professional Goals and Achievements 

LinkedIn is THE PLACE to share updates about your professional development. To some extent, it is a place to (humbly) brag on yourself a little and show what you can offer. Share the article you just wrote. Post about your new promotion. Talk about your latest professional goals. Keep things short and to the point. There is no need for dramatics and ultra-personal details—save the personal stuff for Facebook. If you are currently job searching, let your connections know! Share a post about your goals, what you are looking for, and call on your followers to let you know of any opportunities they may hear of. Most importantly: KEEP THINGS PROFESSIONAL.

Ask Questions and Be Real

Be sure to present yourself accurately. You do not need to pretend that you have it all together. Feel free to share a quick blurb about how going back to work after maternity leave was a big transition or post an update about how you stayed motivated after a death in the family—be sure to focus the post on your work. Sharing things like this on LinkedIn can be helpful to others going through similar things. Make sure you keep your post professional while also being honest.

On a lighter note, asking questions provides a space to engage with your connections in a way that can lead to some good networking conversations. Post a poll or a question for people to engage with. They can be lighthearted! For example, “Which K Cup flavor is the best to have in the break room?” or “Do you bring lunch to work or get takeout more?”

Network!

The primary purpose of LinkedIn is to network. Use it! Follow people in your field. Connect with fellow alumni from your alma mater. LinkedIn is a HUGE resource to find people in your specific niche. Message them and ask questions. Look to LinkedIn to find a career mentor or even just to connect with others in your field.

Use LinkedIn to your advantage! Connect with friends and fellow professionals to stay up to date on your field and your friend’s career moves.

 

3 Easy Ways To Get To Know Your Coworkers

The average American spends about 30% of their life with their coworkers. This often rivals time spent with a significant other throughout one’s 30s, 40s, and 50s. Given the amount of time you spend at work, getting to know your coworkers could lead to a much more comfortable 30% of your life. Here are three easy ways to get to know your coworkers!

Create Conversation

Start with some casual coffee talk in the break room. Ask people about their weekends. You can find important information out about people like this. Do they have pets? Which city do they live in? Are they married? Offer information about yourself so that they can learn about you too. Saying “I went out to dinner with my wife’s parents on Saturday at the steakhouse down the street” offers a lot more personal information than “I went out on Saturday night.” Be specific! People care to know more about others but are often scared to ask, not wanting to come off like they are prying. Start with positive conversation topics to get to know your coworkers. Although communal suffering can be easy to talk about and appear to lead to quick bonds, avoid complaining about work or other coworkers to get closer to someone. If you must complain, make it about the weather or something a little more lighthearted and not company-related.

Make Invitations Clear

It is essential that intention and boundaries are clear with coworkers. When asking to spend time with a coworker outside of work, it is best to keep things light and comfortable. Sometimes this means inviting more than one person or keeping alcohol out of the mix. It all depends on the situation and who you are dealing with. Keep things platonicBe careful not to put any of your coworkers in a position where they wonder if you are asking them on a date. Stay friendly and keep boundaries. This Indeed article gives a few helpful pointers on work friendship boundaries.

Be Inclusive

Creating cliques in the workplace can be very damaging to the office’s culture. Be sure to include others in outings with coworker groups. You don’t have to be best friends with everyone in your office, but intentionally leaving people out will only lead to bad things for the office. Be open and make fun happen.

Make the time you spend at work enjoyable. Get to know the people you spend 40 hours a week with and make that time both social and productive!

What Is A Career Influencer And How Can They Help Me?

You have probably heard of Social Media Influencers, a group of online personalities turning the entrepreneurial world on its head. But a recent trend that’s popping up more and more is that of Career Influencers. We’re going to dive into what a Career Influencer is and how they can help you.

What Is A Career Influencer?

Career Influencer is a content creator that uses their social media following to help professionals navigate an uncertain working world. These professionals offer tons of free, bite-sized advice online. They have become especially popular with early-career and young professionals seeking guidance on kick-starting their careers. Jerry Lee, CoFounder and Chief Operating Officer of Wonsulting, notes that “It’s easier now to get reliable information about pay and working conditions at potential employers. The rise of career influencers makes the job hunt easier and more productive.”

How Can A Career Influencer Help Me?

One of the keys to finding success with a Career Influencer is finding the right one. There are hundreds of these professionals who all focus on different things. From general resume and interview tips to the challenges underrepresented groups face when finding work, there is an influencer that specializes in what you’re looking for.

You can start by absorbing those free tidbits of advice they offer on social media. Many have a significant presence on LinkedIn, which is a great place to start! Many Career Influencers offer extended services if you’re looking for additional support and guidance. So, once you find one that fits your career goals, reach out and spark a discussion about how they can help you take your career to the next level.

So, How Do I Find Career Influencers?

As I mentioned above, a great place to discover Career Influencers is LinkedIn. We love to follow along with #LinkedInTopVoices in the Job Search & Career sector. Additionally, you can browse LinkedIn Top Voices in various industries, allowing you to find someone who closely aligns with your career aspirations.

Why You Should Stay In Touch With Your Recruiter

If you have partnered with a recruiter to find a position along your career trajectory, you may think that’s the end of the road. Once you’re settled into your new position, it’s easy to get comfortable and discontinue your relationship with a recruiter. However, there are a few reasons you should reconsider. Here’s why you should stay in touch with a recruiter after they’ve found you a job.

They have a relationship with your employer

While in the midst of connecting you with your current company, your recruiter was establishing a strong connection with them. In the first couple of months of your new role, your recruiter may call and check in every once in a while. Not only should you answer their call, but also be honest about how you’re feeling! They can help you iron out any issues or assist with the lines of communication. Additionally, they love to celebrate your wins! There’s nothing more rewarding for a recruiter than hearing how much you love your new position.

Keep a pulse on the market

Recruiters have a strong pulse on the job market. And because they helped connect you to your current role, they’ll know whether you’re being fairly compensated compared to the competition. Even if you’re happy at your new company, your recruiter can let you know of openings that are too good to pass up!

Refer your network

Last but not least, staying connected with your recruiter is a great way to refer your network. Maybe one of your friends, family, or professional contacts is looking for a new job, or your recruiter posts an opening that would be perfect for someone you know. Staying in touch is the best way to connect your network to the jobs they need.

One of our recruiters, Taylor Clark, said it best, “The recruiter you worked with was not a lone soldier – they were a part of an entire team working toward your success and that of the business you now support. Staying on the up-and-up with the business that vouched for you is a professional relationship that will be useful to you for the rest of your life – inside and outside of your career.”

How to Tap Into the Hidden Job Market

Over the last couple of years, there has been a lot of hype about the hidden job market. No, this is not an underground job market where employers list their jobs in secrecy. This market is all of the jobs that employers are not publicly promoting on their websites. These are jobs that can be executive-level roles, jobs for internal candidates, openings to replace a current employee or jobs that are private for other reasons. It’s hard to pin down the total number of jobs in this “hidden” market; however, a survey from Jobvites reveals that 35% found job postings on social media, 50% of respondents heard about jobs from friends, and 37% say they also learn about jobs from professional networks.

In other word’s there are tens of thousands of jobs on this market, and we are going to help you tap into it to find your next career opportunity.

How can you tap into the hidden job market?

There are a few different ways job seekers can access these hidden jobs.

Reach out to your professional network

The first thing you should do to access the hidden job market is leverage your professional network. Head to LinkedIn and let recruiters know that you are open to new job opportunities. You can turn on a setting that signals to recruiters looking for candidates that you are interested in new positions. Once that game-changing setting is active, start reaching out to your network. Have conversations with your current connections, reach out to new people at your dream companies, and engage with others on LinkedIn. Actively post on LinkedIn as well as comment on other’s posts. Join professional groups on LinkedIn and other social media sites to meet professionals in your industry.

Once you start connecting with new people and re-engage with your connections, you will quickly discover some of these “hidden” jobs that you can only find through networking and social media.

Do your due diligence

Besides networking, you can uncover jobs on the hidden job market by doing a little research. Start following companies you are interested in working at on social media, subscribe to their newsletters, and introduce yourself to people at these companies. Employers often share they are hiring on their social media sites and newsletters to help get the word out about new openings. If you are following companies that fit your career goals, you can quickly identify brand new jobs. These aren’t advertised on traditional job boards because they are costly and take time to publish.

Also, once you find a job that sparks your interest, do some research on the hiring manager or others on that team and reach out to them. Send them a personalized LinkedIn request or email and briefly introduce yourself. If you go straight to the horse’s mouth, you can bypass an ATS and get your resume in the hands of those that matter most.

Work with a recruiting firm

Probably the most effective way to tap into the hidden job market is working with a recruiting firm. Recruiters often have exclusive job opportunities – jobs that are not available anywhere else. Employers work with a select group of recruiters that they trust to fill their positions with excellent candidates. Partnering with a recruiter is a sure-fire way to learn about opportunities that are hidden to the public.

At JSG, our recruiters have cultivated strong relationships with our clients. We pride ourselves on our industry expertise and our emphasis on customer service. So, if you are ready to take the plunge, reach out to us today or take a peek at our job board. We want to partner with job seekers like you and help you find the next step in your career.

Why Your Job Search Isn’t Producing Results

Do you feel like you are stuck in a rut with your job search? If so, you may be one of the 25% of Americans who believe there are no suitable employment opportunities. If you are sitting there scratching your head and wondering why your job search isn’t producing results, it may be time to rethink your strategy. Here are four reasons why your search is not generating the results you are working hard to achieve.

Your job search is too vague

Is your job search broad enough? Many job seekers make the mistake of looking for a similar role with a different company in the same industry. In the post-pandemic labor market, this strategy is not as effective as it once was. Sure, it’s easy and comfortable to transition to a very similar role with a new company. However, some industries are performing better than others in today’s market. In other words, you may need to broaden your job search and tap into industries and employers that are thriving. Use your transferrable skills and apply them to a new position. If your job search isn’t producing results, it’s time to look at expanding your career pursuit.

You are not tailoring your resume

When was the last time you took a deep look at your resume? In today’s market, you cannot simply update your work experience and fire it off for every application. You must tailor your resume for every application. We get it; that sounds like a ton of work. But truthfully, it’s not as challenging as you may think. First, craft an updated resume with all of your latest experiences, achievements, certifications, and skills. Once you have a solid foundation, it’s pretty easy to tailor your resume.

Carefully review the job description and note the most important qualifications or skill sets the employer is looking for. Once you have identified the crucial qualifications, you want to reflect them in your resume. Tweak how you phrase your responsibilities and other details to beat the resume bots (aka an ATS) and land on a hiring manager’s desk. If you aren’t investing in the time to tailor your resume, you likely won’t yield the results you want.

Your networking isn’t effective

If your job search results are a little lackluster, it’s time to kick your networking into high gear. With the lack of in-person networking events, it’s time to turn to LinkedIn and other social media platforms to build your professional network. First of all, head to LinkedIn and let recruiters know you are open to new opportunities. (Work smarter, not harder!) Next, start building connections with those in your desired companies. Connect with people at your targeted companies on LinkedIn by sending them a personalized connection request. Briefly introduce yourself and explain why you wish to connect with them. They are more likely to accept your invitation if you send them a personal message introducing yourself.

You are not tapping into the hidden job market

The hidden job market is essentially all of the jobs that employers are not advertising online. In fact, only 40% of jobs are estimated to be advertised online. You can tap into the other 60% by networking or partnering with a professional recruiting firm, like JSG. Employers often give recruiters exclusive job orders, and thus, you won’t find these jobs on the employer’s website or anywhere else. If you are tired of your job search not producing results, let’s work together. We have hundreds of exciting opportunities across North America. If you are ready to take the next step in your career path, explore our jobs or reach out to us today.

How to Get Noticed By A Prospective Employer

Do you feel like you are failing to get noticed by your target companies during your job search? It can be challenging to earn the attention of competitive companies when the job market is so tight. If you are looking to make a splash with your job search this year, here is how to get noticed by a prospective employer.

Start building connections

The first thing you can do to start gaining a prospective employer’s attention is build some connections within the company. If you know someone who works there, this will be much easier. Reach out to your network and ask them to introduce you to the hiring manager of a job that interests you. If you don’t have a connection, you will have to stick your neck out a little more. Find people that are in similar fields with you at this company and start introducing yourself. Send them a LinkedIn connection request with a custom message. Introduce yourself and share (very briefly) why you are connecting with them.

Apply directly to the hiring manager

Once you start building these connections with employers you wish to work for, it’s time to start applying. Of course, you will want to submit your resume through the company’s career portal. However, if you know who the hiring manager is, you can submit your application directly to them. Competitive companies receive hundreds or even thousands of applications for a single position. So, instead of getting your resume thrown into the pile in an applicant tracking system, get your resume right to the source. A hiring manager or recruiter is much more likely to review your resume if you stick it right in front of them instead of letting an ATS do the work for them. Bypass the competition by sending your resume directly to the hiring manager, and you will start to get noticed by a prospective employer.

Go above and beyond with your application

If you are just blindly submitting your resume to every position in your field, you won’t experience much success. Due to the pandemic, we are in a competitive job market. You have to put in more effort to beat your competition and receive a callback. Tailor your resume to each position you apply for to ensure it illustrates that you are a strong fit. Write a custom cover letter for each application, even if one is not required. A thoughtfully crafted cover letter will help you stand out and connect the dots between your transferable skills and the position. Also, an excellent way to showcase all your skills and qualifications is an online portfolio. Submitting a link to your portfolio with your other application materials is a great way to show off your work examples, experience, and other things that make you a fantastic candidate. They are easy to make and often free to build on certain websites.

Need more help?

These three things will drastically help you get noticed by a prospective employer. But if you are looking to take your job search up a notch, consider working with a recruiter. JSG’s recruiting team can work with you to find the career that matches your skill sets and career goals. We have opportunities across North America and are ready to get you back to work. Reach out to us today!