5 Tips for Cleaning Your Social Media Profiles

Remember back when you knew nothing about anyone and had to actually interact with a person to find out more about them? Yeah, I don’t remember so far back either. In today’s age of social media, you can find out much about a person by simply stalking them online. But while this is great for when it comes to checking out your crush, this technique can backfire when it comes to jobs. Employers can reject your simply because of the image you project on social media. Here are five tips to help you clean up your social media presence:

 

1) Rule of thumb: If  you wouldn’t want your gran to see it, don’t put it up. This rule works great for me since I do actually have my grandmother on Facebook. This rule has served me well in social media…mainly because as a teen, I was always getting in trouble for posting something or the other that people deemed offensive.

2) Set your profiles on private: I think this is a great rule since you have some sort of control over who views your profile. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram all have settings that protect your privacy. However if you work in a field like social media or marketing, doing this may be like shooting yourself in the foot. My Facebook can only be viewed by friends while my Twitter and Instagram are open to the world since I use those accounts for blogging.

3) Google yourself: Googling a person online is the fastest way to learn more about them. Google your name and see what comes up. If there’s anything that could be considered as rude, unprofessional or portrays an image that you don’t want, get rid of it.

4) Delete past posts: Delete posts that are rude, mean or just have a negative air about them. Untag yourself from pictures of alcohol, drugs, that picture of you in the bikini, etc. You don’t want to be seen as a party girl by potential employers (even if that is who you are).

5) Ask a third party to double-check: Get someone you trust to do a Google search on you and evaluate the results as well as checking your social media. Having someone else look through your stuff lets you see how others may view your online presence.

 

While the popularity of social media has killed the concept of privacy, using the tips above can help you use this lack of privacy to your advantage.

Handbag Essentials for Work

It was a Friday and we were having a social at work. I had dressed up in a gorgeous leopard-print dress with matching leopard-print pumps and leggings. Everything was going great until the sole of my shoe broke. I had back-up shoes in the car but I was still horrified. How did I- the girl who was prepared for pretty much everything- not have a way of fixing my shoe? Things like this happen and you never know what you need to carry with you until you don’t have that item on you. So here are my handbag essentials for work:

  1. Wallet (with cash in it)- I never go anywhere without my wallet mainly because my wallet contains my driver’s license. However, I have, on occasion, gone out with an empty wallet. Apparently not all the stores take cards (but they really should).
  2. Pen and notebook- You never know when you will need a pen or piece of paper. Especially in the workplace. Don’t be that person that has to borrow from someone else.
  3. Glue- So you don’t have any shoe issues like I did.
  4. Safety pins- To help protect you from any other wardrobe mishaps.
  5. Pain tablets- I always carry pain tablets because I always seem to have a tension headache. It is also helpful if a co-worker has a headache and you have Panado in your bag (I say Panado because I have yet to hear of any harmful side effects. Please don’t share any tablets that may have side effects).
  6. Toiletries- As a female, it is always a good idea to have toiletries in your bag if you or a co-worker may need them.
  7. Tissues/Wet wipes- I just found wet wipes in a store recently and I absolutely love them. I carry both wet wipes and tissues with me. The wet wipes are for when I need to wipe my keyboard or desk and the tissues are for soaking up spills.

What are your handbag essentials for work? Do you have any suggestions that I must have missed out? Let me know below!

5 Things to Do Before a Job Interview

Job interviews are absolutely nerve-wracking. But while there is no way to escape them, you can help make things easier by following these five simple tips:

  1. Check out the location of your interview the day before- My first job interview was at a place that was really difficult to find. However I made my dad take me to the venue the day before so I would know how to get there and how long the drive would take. When I went in for the interview, the manager was super-impressed that I found the place without any trouble and that I was early. Especially when I explained to him that I had visited the location the day before so that I wouldn’t get lost.
  2. Print out multiple copies of your CV/Resume- Print out atleast five copies of your relevant documentation in case your interview is conducted by more than one person. I did this just because I read this advice somewhere online. I never thought I would actually need it until I went for an interview that was conducted by two managers. They each had a copy of my CV and the receptionist took one for their records. It’s better to have extras just in case.
  3. Leave home early- You certainly don’t want to be late for an interview. It reflects  very poorly on you no matter what the circumstances were. Make sure you leave home early enough to get to the interview on time.
  4. Learn everything you can about the company and the position that you’re applying- I always like to distract myself during interviews by making friends with the other interviewees. I met a girl once who had no idea what the position we were applying for was (it was debt collecting) and when this was revealed in the interview, she was sent home.
  5. Ensure that your outfit is professional- Dressing professionally shows that you are serious about the job. First impressions matter and when it comes to an interview, it might be the only impression that you make.

What are your tips for handling job interviews? I’d love to know below.

5 Productive Things to Do While Looking for a Job

Job-hunting is difficult. It is even more difficult when you’re unemployed and have nothing to distract you from job-hunting. Here are five productive things to do while you’re looking for a job.

5 Productive Things to Do While Looking for a Job

 

1) Volunteer somewhere- This shows that you haven’t just spent your time as a job-seeker at home. You made a meaningful change. Also, staying at home can get depressing so volunteering lets you make a positive change to someone which in turn makes you feel better. It also looks great when you can show that you did something productive without needing to get compensated in any way.

2) Learn a new skill- There are so many amazing online classes out there. I found some on Criminology and Management only to be distracted by the free Microsoft tutorials offered on the Microsoft Office website. (Fun fact- after I finished the Microsoft Excel tutorials I actually ended up getting a job that used Excel regularly).

3) Take time to perfect your resume and cover letter- A great thing about not having a job is that you have lots of time. Spend some of that time on tailoring your resume and cover letter for each position. This will maximize the impact of your application as well.

4) Network to get a job- Talk to people you know to see if they know anyone who is hiring. This was one of the best ways that I could get my CV out there and I definitely recommend it to others. You never know who knows who and where you could land up.

5) Take unpaid work or an internship – While working for no pay is not something most people want to do, sometimes the experience and lessons learnt are invaluable. You could learn skills that could be put to use in another field.

These tips are sure to help you be super-productive and ready to kick butt at your next interview.

5 Tips For Writing a Cover Letter

I posted this before but I’m sharing again for anyone who needs cover letter help for the new year.

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1) Personalize your letter for each application- even if you’re applying for the same position at different companies, it is important that your cover letter is tailored for each company. For example, your application for a fashion magazine and a newspaper should each mention what you could bring to the specific company and position.

2) Try to stand out- Standard introductions are boring. Remember that the person reading your letter goes through several other cover letters as well. Try to stand out in your letter to get their attention. For example, instead of starting with “my name is x and I am applying for y”, start with something out of the box like a quote or motto that you believe in.

3) Do not write an essay- a cover letter that is succinct is more successful that a three – page – essay.  Ideally a cover letter should say who you are, what you can bring to the table and briefly list your experience or qualifications for the job.

4) Show what you can bring to the job- I’ve stated this before. This is just to emphasis it. The company has hundreds of applicants. Obviously everyone wants the job. Obviously they have something to offer. But what do you have? Stellar social media skills? Writing experience? Show that you stand out from others with your unique skills.

5) Stick to the format- a cover letter is just that a letter. So stick to the usual format of a letter. Don’t know the format? Google it! And remember to ensure that you have no typos. Nothing spells unprofessional easier than a badly-formatted, typo – riddled cover letter.

4 Reasons Why You Should Consider Applying for an Unpaid Internship

When it comes to internships, few people want to apply for a unpaid one. However an unpaid internship gives you the same experience you would gain from a paid internship. Just, you know…without the money. Here are some of the reasons why you should consider an unpaid internship:

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1) For the experience: Personally I feel the experience gained from an internship is priceless. (This is obviously because I’m not paying for gas or any kind of bills but anyway). Internships can teach you so much that you never thought you needed to learn. Whether paid or unpaid, experience learned from an internship is ALWAYS valuable.

2) To gain networking contacts: An internship is a great way to make networking contacts for the future. You never know if a person knows someone who may be able to help you in the future.

3) To expand your knowledge of the field: You can learn alot from an internship. For example, when I interned at a local magazine I learnt how magazines worked as well as websites and social media. There’s no predicting how much you may learn in an internship or when you will use this knowledge.

4) To decide whether or not you want to go into that specific field: Interning allows you to see if a certain industry is a good fit for you or not. Taking an active role in the industry is a great way to find out whether or not you want to be a part of it in the future.

Interning without being paid for it may not be your first choice but it has tons of perks that shouldn’t be ignored.

Anatomy of a Cover Letter

I detest cover letters. Is there anything more difficult to write? Thankfully, cover letters are one of those things that get easier to do with time. Before I’ve listed a short guide to what your cover letter should look like.

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Address to who you’re writing

Dear Sir/Madam
(it’s always a good idea to know who’s going to be receiving your application and then addressing them here. It shows that you have done your research on the business).

Paragraph 1: Introduce yourself. State your name, where you go to school and what you’re studying. State why you’re applying. Make sure you catch the readers attention so that he or she is eager to continue reading.

Paragraph 2: Highlight anything important you think they need to know. For example, have you have previous experience in this field?
Do you have a skill that makes you excellent for the job? EVERYTHING is important. Jobs teach you skills that can be used in any field.

Paragraph 3: Make it clear that you will be an asset to them. Whether it’s because you thrive on pressure and deadlines or because you have amazing qualifications, show the company that they should want to hire you.

I look forward to your response

Sincerely,

Enter full name here