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Start a blog and land your next job!

Instead of spending ages designing and tailoring your CV to stand out in the pile, why not consider actually doing something that will make you different from all of the other job candidates? One of the best ways to show your passion for a particular industry and your knowledge of a specific area is to write a blog and believe it or not writing a blog may be just what you need to do to score your next job.

Start a blog and make your job application stand out for all the right reasons.

Start a blog and make your job application stand out for all the right reasons.

Not your average CV

Whilst pretty much every job seeker has a CV (or at least they should have) not everyone owns a blog. The great thing about writing and publishing blog posts is that it demonstrates the skills, knowledge and passion you claim to have on your CV. It shows that you are far more interested in the line of work than the other candidates and is sure to impress employers.

Improve your digital footprint

Today it is common for employers to vet potential employees by performing Google searches. If a prospective employer ‘Googles’ your name and finds your blog, they are going to be so much more impressed than if a drunken Facebook photo of you on your mate’s stag-do appears. Remember that everything you put online leaves a digital footprint and unless you make your social media pages private, they can be explored by employers and could do you a disservice.

Present yourself as an industry expert

One of the great things about writing a blog is that it shows you have in-depth knowledge of a particular subject. It will inform employers that you are up to date with the latest industry trends and news and know exactly what is going on. Writing an industry-relevant blog will help present you as an expert and show employers that you are much more valuable to them than the candidate next to you.

You’ll instantly become more interesting

If you think about how many CVs and job applications employers have to go through, you will understand why they get bored so quickly. By writing a blog and including the URL on your CV, you will instantly become more interesting to employers. Not only will it give them something else to look at, aside from yet another CV, but it will also give you something additional to talk about when you inevitably land an interview!

You’ll be surprised at how useful your blog is when it comes to answering interview questions and it will often be able to make up for a lack of experience elsewhere.

Employers have become increasingly interested in industry bloggers.

Employers have become increasingly interested in industry bloggers.

Setting up a blog

Setting up a blog could not be easier. There are plenty of free blogging platforms online, with two of the most popular being Blogger and WordPress. If you are just starting out and want to use your blog for job seeking purposes, you don’t necessarily need a fancy design or domain, just make sure your content is top notch!

Conclusion

With so many benefits, it’s a wonder that everyone hasn’t already jumped on the blogging bandwagon. If you are looking for a way to make yourself stand out from other candidates or simply want to show employers how passionate you are about the industry you work in; blogging is the way to do it.

If you have already got a blog and are ready to use it to land your next job role, be sure to check out YourJobList. Applying for jobs can be extremely time consuming, but having a dedicated tool to manage your job applications and assist your job hunt can make the process a whole lot easier.

 

Image credits: xioubin low & the tartanpodcast


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The Top Five Best Employers in Europe (Bloomberg Video)

Take a look at this Bloomberg Video showing the best five employers in Europe.

KPMG, Procter & Gamble, Ernst & Young, L’Oreal and in the number one slot – no suprises, it’s Google!

Check out the original article over at Here is the City.


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The worst mistake you can make in a new job?

Don’t let your enthusiasm take over when starting a new job. Here’s what you should avoid in order to get off on the right foot.

There are lots of mistakes you can make in a new job-showing up late on your first day, making personal phone calls all day, and wearing a tutu all qualify as bad steps. But those are all, at least I hope, pretty obvious to you.

The worst thing you can do, and it’s a mistake a lot of people do out of enthusiasm, is to storm into a new workplace and start making suggestions for improvement. While you may expect a new employer and all of your co-workers to stop in their tracks and exalt in your keen perception, it won’t happen that way.

Here’s an unrelated story to explain: A couple of years ago I was at a party at which I was to meet the new girlfriend of a dear friend of mine. This woman happened to be a hairstylist, who for some reason, was eager to make a good impression on me. About five minutes into the evening, she pointed at me and said, “I can fix that.” I must have looked perplexed because then she said, “Your hair. I can fix it.” Now, maybe it’s me but I’m not sure how a statement like that could be received any way but poorly. I just mumbled something about my not being aware my hair was broken.

So, now I’m not saying you’re going to charge into the CIO’s office and tell him his hair is all wrong. But criticizing (which is what you’re doing by offering a “better” way) a business process that has long been in place can feel like the same thing. You cannot expect someone, even an entity like an employer, to be gracious when told indirectly that they’ve been doing things all wrong.

This is not to say that the time will not come for your insights. It will. But it’s more important to learn the lay of the prevailing land before you presume to suggest changes. It’s also important that you prove yourself first so that others will take your suggestions more seriously.

Credit to the guys at TechRepublic for the original article.


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10 things to consider before leaving IT for the end business

If you’re hoping to climb the ladder on the business side of your organization, be sure to ask yourself these questions before saying goodbye to IT.

If you are employed in any enterprise where IT is not the end business, you will find IT is a support function. There’s nothing wrong with making an IT career in companies like this — unless you aspire to be the CEO. Companies almost always look for someone with experience in sales or in a line of business to fill that role. That’s why many IT’ers who have enterprise CEO aspirations decide to leave IT for a functional area that is considered strategic to the business.

But not so fast. Before you make the decision to leave IT, here are 10 things you should ask yourself:

1: Am I going to like being on the business side?

Once you make the transition from IT to a business area, your workload is going to change. There isn’t as much difference between IT and the end business if you are making a transfer into engineering. But if your new area is a product line for a heavy equipment manufacturer or sales or marketing for a retailer or card services for a bank, the difference will be huge. If possible, you should gain as much familiarity with your “target area” of the business as you can before you make the leap. Talk to others who are in that business area and learn everything you can about it. Most important, think about that area of the business and yourself. Can you see yourself there — and do you think you will be happy?

2: Am I going to be able to leave IT alone?

Often, the first thing a welcoming business area does with a new employee from IT is to put that person in charge of technology for the department. This can be a good thing, because it allows you (as a new business employee) to establish a worth and a credibility in your new department. However, it can also be detrimental if you 1) find yourself “stuck” in departmental IT so that you don’t get to learn the end business like you wanted to or 2) find yourself naturally gravitating to all the department’s IT projects because deep down, you really like IT better. You won’t meet your business career objectives if you step into any of these sand traps.

3: Do I have the business savvy?

The best business people have a natural savvy about how successful businesses work, and they don’t get sidetracked by the many incidental things that can come up during the day. They can also see the big picture of what the business must accomplish. By nature, IT folks are highly analytical and detail-oriented. Before making an IT-to-end-business move, assess yourself and your natural talents. Will you be able to focus on the business first — even if this runs counter to IT thinking?

4: Will moving to the end business hurt my career if I decide to rejoin IT?

Not necessarily. If you develop in-depth expertise on the business side, you can often find a path back into IT as a business analyst (always in short supply). However, if your IT skillset is highly technical in nature, you will find it more difficult to reenter IT the longer you stay away from it. The rule of thumb here is: If you make a move to the end business and decide to switch back to IT, do it as quickly as you can. This leaves less time for your skills to erode, and it usually is understandable to both the business and IT if a relatively new assignment just doesn’t work out.

5: Am I a “cyclical” or a “project-oriented” person?

I remember once walking to work with an accountant friend. She told me that one of the things she really liked about her job was that she knew exactly what she was going to be doing every day of the week. There are many people like this. They want an office life that is predictable. But if you’re in IT, life is anything but predictable! A system can crash or there might be an immediate need to provision a new server. IT professionals thrive on change and a constant stream of new projects. How do you like to work? This is a crucial question to ask yourself, because if you like the constant change of projects in IT, a more cyclical function (like accounting) — where you repeatedly do the same things daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly — might not be able to contain you.

6: Do I have the communications, political, and people skills?

One of the nice things about IT or engineering is that the people who work in these disciplines tend to be “thing” oriented, and less political. The downside of this is that IT folks often come up short in interpersonal and communications skills. These skills (as well as the politics) are important in most end business areas. If you don’t feel that you can do well in these areas, you might be best served to remain in a discipline like IT or engineering.

7: Can I think non-logically?

Areas like engineering and IT rely on logical and deductive thought processes to solve what in many cases are mathematical problems. But if you’re in a business area like sales or marketing, the emotional content of what people are saying and thinking becomes highly important. Intuition and creativity also count. This is in sharp contrast to the way IT thinks and works-so it is a good idea to assess how strong you are in the alternate forms of thinking before making a career change.

8: Can I handle open-ended situations?

IT’ers like clearly defined situations where something either works or it doesn’t. This is natural when the majority of your work life is in projects with tight deadlines that require rapid problem resolution. However, this mode of work can be different in other business areas, where decision-making can take longer and the work is more cyclical in nature and less project (and goal) oriented. Some IT’ers find this difficult to adjust to. You should ask yourself how well you do in a less defined and decision-oriented environment before deciding to make a change.

9: How committed am I really to a career in business?

Many IT’ers find that they really miss IT after they leave it. Unless you have an arrangement with your company that you are going over to a business area for a specific period of time (to enhance your business background) and that you will return to IT, you should be absolutely confident that a long-term career in business is what you really want.

10: Does the company really have an opportunity for me?

If your primary reason for switching to the business side of the enterprise is for long-term career advancement in the company, do all your due diligence up front before you make the move. Several years ago, a colleague of mine who was managing IT wanted to transition to the business side of the community bank he was working at because his ultimate goal was to be the bank’s CEO. He spent time in the bank’s branch system and ran the loan department. Today, he is the CEO — but he had a clear-cut goal in mind and had met with other bank officials to discuss the feasibility of this career path.

Credit to the guys and girls at TechRepublic for the original article.


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Agile Careers

If you’re a software developer looking for work then this news might be of interest to you. The Scrum Alliance have announced their partnership with Agile Careers; a careers website aimed at agile practitioners.

 

AgileCareers.com is the only careers website dedicated exclusively to the needs of the Agile community, offering job posting and resume services as well as an interactive community which broadcasts news articles and information relevant to Agile and Scrum practitioners.

This partnership provides Scrum Alliance members (i.e. certified Scrum practitioners) with valuable benefits:

  • Scrum Alliance members seeking new employees can post open positions on AgileCareers.com with the confidence they will be viewed by Agile and Scrum enthusiasts worldwide.
  • Scrum Alliance members seeking new Agile career opportunities have greater visibility into potential positions with companies who desire Agile and Scrum expertise. Visit AgileCareers.com to post your résumé.

To celebrate our new partnership, AgileCareers.com is offering free postings for a limited time. After that, Scrum Alliance members will enjoy ongoing discounts for all AgileCareers.com job posting services.

Check it out and let me know what you think?


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60 Second Recruitment Interview – Jacco Valkenburg, Recruit2

Under the spotlight is Jacco Valkenburg, founder of Recruit2 and Recruiter University, and an international recruitment expert, trainer and author of two books about LinkedIn.

Q – How long have you been in the industry, and what is your current job title ?
A – I started in 1996 working on (global) recruitment strategies and execution, spanning numerous countries for leading companies. I prefer to call myself a Recruitment Architect because, as founder of Recruit2 and Recruiter University, I provide companies with recruitment consultancy and talent management solutions and expertise. My mission is helping companies to improve the results of their recruitment efforts.
Recently I launched Refer2, a full service provider for recruitment solutions such as referral campaigns and mobile Apps.

Q – Do you have a mentor and if so who ?

A – I’m very active on social media, managing a group of 100.000 Recruitment Consultants on LinkedIn, and having my own recruitment blog www.GlobalRecruitingRoundtable.com. I still learn every day from the readers feedback and the news that they share.

Q – Are you by nature a pessimist or optimist ?

A – Optimist by nature. Every challenge is an opportunity to learn.

Q – What’s the biggest lesson you have learned in your career to date ?

A – Get the basics right first, before buzzing off to new horizons. A lot of companies think they understand recruitment but do the basic things wrong such as a poorly defined recruiting strategy, no planning, using out-dated practices, weak execution process, or because they don’t measure results (and make continuous improvement). A great hiring process, that has the potential to create the highest financial impact, is relatively simple; all that is lacking is creative recruiting’s leadership.

Q – What’s your favourite business quotation or life motto ?

A – My own favourite business quote: ‘Pray that I never become your competitor’s recruiter’.

Q – What’s the best business book you’ve ever read ?

A – My favourite business book is ‘From To Good Great’ by Jim Collins that aims to describe how companies transition from being average companies to great (financial performing) companies and how companies can fail to make the transition. Since then I’ve made it my goal to help companies from good to great staffing.

Interested to learn more about LinkedIn for finding new work or assignments ? Or want to make best use of this online professional network for recruiting ?

www.CareerManagementviaLinkedIn.com

www.RecruitmentviaLinkedIn.com

This article has been re-posted, you can read the original article over at Here Is The City


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5 Reasons Why UK Graduates are Moving Away From Careers in Banking & Finance

This article has been re-produced. The original author was William Frierson.

Times are tough with the economy all round, but the financial services industry appears to be having a torrid time. Financial scandals coupled with changing business models have wreaked havoc with bottom lines during this prolonged downturn.

And issues like these have resulted in many graduates, who previously were keen to earn big money and work in ‘the City’, deciding that their futures lay elsewhere.

Here’s 5 key reasons why UK graduates are increasingly giving a career in financial services a wide berth:

1. Job security – the economic outlook and regulatory and capital pressures have significantly impacted revenues in this sector. Job security (or the lack of it) is a significant negative factor when considering a career in financial services.

2. Financial reward – where once a career in banking & finance was seen as a quick way to riches and early retirement, this is no longer the case. Political pressure and demands to achieve a better balance between employee reward and shareholder value has meant that compensation ratios have come down (and will fall further).

3. Work / Life Balance – always known as an industry that works employees hard, job insecurity has resulted in employees having to put in even more hours to try and justify their existence. In addition, cuts in headcount increasingly means that workloads have increased for those who remain.

4. Stigma – five years on from the start of the financial crisis, bankers in particular are held in very low regard. Where once a young professional was proud to show off a business card that confirmed he / she worked at a large financial institution, that is no more. Scandal has followed scandal, and there appears to be no let-up.

5. Uncertain environment – with the industry under a microscope like never before, and in the midst of a significant economic downturn fraught with further political uncertainties (the break-up of the Euro, the stability of Greece and other European countries, etc), the future shape of the financial services industry is now in question. Likely to go through significant structural change over the coming years, it is difficult to see how a career in this sector will unfold.

William Frierson is a staff writer for CollegeRecruiter.com, a leading job board for college students who are searching for internships and recent graduates who are hunting for entry-level jobs and other career opportunities