Archive for January, 2010

Do you want employers to read your Facebook?

Your Facebook profile may be much more interesting to people than you think.

A report by Helen Gilbert in Personnel Today (January 29th) reveals 41% of HR managers in the UK  have rejected a job applicant due to their online profile.  Recruitment agencies are also looking at social network profiles as part of their standard background checks (click here to view the full article).

In addition, a  recent survey of graduates by recruitment website milkround.com shows that Facebook is by far the most popular social networking site, with 98% of students and graduates having a Facebook profile.  18% of those use Facebook for both socialising and job hunting; a risky strategy that may be embarrassing if potential employers access photos of drunken high japes!

Only 17% of graduates and students instead use the professional website LinkedIn for job hunting and 3% of all students and graduates surveyed say they have two Facebook profiles, one for job hunting and one for socialising.

With Facebook’s recent controversial changes to privacy, many users may now have public profiles without realising it. This means that anyone (current and prospective employers included) can access your photos, personal information and message walls. It is worth checking your privacy settings if there is anything on your profile you perhaps would not want an employer to see! Go to “Settings” (at the top of the page), then “Privacy Settings”, and then “Profile Information” and adjust accordingly.

And, if you do add your boss as a friend on Facebook, then just watch what you say. Last year a female worker was sacked after ranting in her status update:

“OMG I HATE MY JOB!!! ” and continuing on to slate her boss.

Her boss, whom she had forgotten she had added as a friend, replied just a few hours later “…I’ll pop your P45 in the post and you can come in whenever you like to pick up any stuff you’ve left here. And yes, I’m serious”.

Oops! So, be careful!

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What to wear for an interview

There is no doubt that first impressions count in an interview situation. Apparently, it only takes three seconds for a prospective employer to make assumptions on your personality, suitability for the role and how you will fit in with the rest of the team based on your appearance.  So, it’s important that you make that first impression a good one.

Remember these top tips:

A suit is always a safe bet, regardless of the type of job you are going for. Make sure that the suit fits and is clean! Make sure the jacket and trousers/skirt match.

For men:

  • Wear a long sleeved shirt and not one made of nylon. Nylon can look cheap and shiny and also make you sweat a lot in the interview.
  • If it is a new shirt then make sure you iron it and it doesn’t have creases from where it has just been removed from the packaging!
  • Wear a tie, but do not wear an outrageous one to show how “zany” you are. The interviewer will assume you are a complete clown.
  • Don’t wear white socks with a business suit. Or brown shoes with black trousers! It may be fashionably acceptable now to combine brown and black, but some interviewers are “old school”.
  • Make sure you are clean shaven, or if you have a beard, that it is neatly trimmed.

Women:

  • No short skirts or low cut tops and unless your job interview is within an industry that encourages it, don’t dress like a fashion victim.
  • No midriff on show and make sure your shirt/blouse is not straining across your chest!
  • Keep accessories and make up to a minimum. You want your personality and experience to shine, not interrupted by the clatter of bangles and jewellery.
  • Avoid red shoes! I used to have a boss who would instantly dismiss female candidates in red shoes, “Red shoes and no knickers”, she would say and cross them off her list. I am sure that is not the case, but I made a mental note never to wear red shoes in case that is a common expression!

Both:

  • A lot can be assumed from a person from looking at their shoes and their fingernails as to how much attention they pay to detail.  It’s always the first thing I look at and I know many other interviewers check these out too. So, make sure that your shoes aren’t scuffed, no matter how sharp your suit, and that your nails are clean and trimmed.  Chipped nail polish also looks slack too.
  • Don’t marinate in perfume/after shave before your interview. If you wear a certain scent for a long time you may need to apply more before you can smell it as you become so accustomed to it.  However, that quantity to everyone else can be choking and VERY off putting.
  • Tattooes and body piercings will always stereotype you, no matter how individual they make you feel. Make sure you remove these/cover them up to project a more professional image.
  • Make sure you have had a shower and have freshly washed hair. It may seem like common sense but I’ve seen some absolute specimens roll in for an interview!

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New Year’s Job Hunter’s Resolutions

Happy New Year!!

If you are job hunting it is time to start afresh!

Here are some resolutions to stick to:

1. I will read through my CV and my list of strengths and achievements every day.

2. I will forget about any rejections from last year – they are all in the past. 2010 is a brand new start.

3. I will ensure that I am actively seeking work every day, but not to the point of obsession.

4. I will ensure that I get plenty of exercise, eat healthily and get out the house to see family and friends so I don’t get down in the dumps.

5. I will check my voicemail message to make sure I sound positive and cheerful and not miserable. I don’t want to put any prospective employers off!

6. I will look into training courses/part time voluntary work if I have been out of work for six months or more,  to brush up/expand my skills.

7. I will stay positive!

If you have any more useful tips of your own feel free to comment!

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