Tag Archive: Job Search


The following piece will help you understand how to write an effective blog piece as well as how to build a following, maintain an audience and grasp writing in the digital age.

In today’s present job landscape, blogging is one of the greatest things you can do to leverage your position as a potential job candidate.  There are several reasons why this is the case.  When you apply for a job, often times you are in a battle with tens to possibly thousands of other people vying for that same position.  Blogging is one way that you can take the upper-hand over many of your “opponents”.  It is a way for you to be seen as an expert in your field, but also allows possible employers to see that you are willing to go above and beyond.  Most people are not forced to blog; they do it because they like to write about certain topics.

Starting a blog is easy.  There are numerous free blog-hosting sites at your disposal (Hubpages, WordPress, Blogger.com, etc.).  Take the time to research each and determine which is the best option for your future blog.  When you choose a site, get to know the tools available to you.

Once you have chosen a site, you should think of a topic(s) that you want to write about.  For college students, something specifically related to your field of study will not only help when it comes time to search for a career, but also add an excellent section to your resume.  If you are looking for inspiration, refer to people who you look up to in your field for ideas.  Often your professors can help point you in the right direction by giving you a list of topics. 

Understand that it is critical to blog about things that are important to you because you should never look at blogging as a chore.  You want to sound excited and offer your readers something of value.  Don’t rehash articles you read; try to create a fresh and unique perspective.  Reach out to your network for help, as most people are extremely interested in helping you succeed.  When starting out, try to keep a common focus.  While branching out is okay sometimes, your readers will begin to expect certain things from you.  Veering too far off topic may be more detrimental than beneficial.

Consistency is one of the most important things about blogging.  As you build your readership, your audience will begin to expect posts from you.  Your first piece that you write should introduce yourself, your focus and your frequency.  If you think that you would like to blog weekly, tell your audience.  If that is too much of a commitment, try bi-weekly or monthly.  You don’t need to add stress to yourself by having to constantly create content, and you always want to make sure that what you are saying is relevant.

After writing your blog, share the link on your social media channels.  You’ll be pleasantly surprised with the feedback that you get almost immediately!  Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are some of the best and easiest ways to drive traffic to your new blog. 

Another way to drive traffic to your blog is by posting in LinkedIn groups.  If you are writing a blog about a specific topic, find a LinkedIn group that is similar to that topic.  For example, if your piece is about social media for small business, look for a small business owners group or a social media marketing group.  You can quickly make a post to the group discussing what your blog is about and why the user should go to your post and learn more.  This can be a way to bring people from out of your network to your blog, but also a way to add new influencers to your network.

I would highly encourage anyone to start a blog.  If you are a student, blogging can help by putting you above other applicants after graduation and give you an added aspect on your resume.  If you are someone looking for work, blogging can help potential employers see you as an expert in your field.  If you are someone happily in a career, blogs can help enhance your standing as an authority figure to your peers.

Here is a blog start-up check list:

1. Research Blogging Sites

2. Formulate a Topic

3. Determine the Frequency of Your Posts

4. Write/Edit/Revise your Post

5. Post the Link on Your Social Media Channels including LinkedIn Groups

6. Revise Your Strategy Constantly

7. Repeat steps 4 – 6

Good Luck!

Paul M. Miller

pmiller@kollisionmedia.com

Twitter: @SolutionsforAdv

LinkedIn:  http://www.linkedin.com/pub/paul-miller/3b/b5/495

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In Part 2 of the Job Search blog, I would like to take time to recognize two panelists that stood out in my mind, not only during the panel but as some of the best of the whole day.  I mentioned Amanda Haddaway (@ahaddaway) and Rachel Strella (@rachelstrella) as two panelists that exceeded my expectations.  As someone who is presently searching for a job in a very difficult job landscape, I took this panel very seriously and took away from it quite a lot of useful information.

Amanda Haddaway is a very accomplished HR professional that has a great array of expertise in the job search field.  Here is a brief bio from her website (http://amandahaddaway.com):  “Amanda Haddaway is an accomplished freelance writer and marketing practitioner. She has been quoted in numerous national publications for her HR and marketing expertise and has written two books, Destination Real World: Success After Graduation for new and soon-to-be college graduates and Interviewer Success: Become a great interviewer in less than one hour.”  The two things that she discusses in these two books are two of the most important aspects not only for recently graduated or graduating students, but any professional looking for a job.  One of the most important things I learned from Amanda was that just because you have graduated, doesn’t mean you can stop learning.  Many people who I have spoken to over the years have looked at graduation as the culmination of all of their studies.  In my opinion, this could not be further from the truth.  Because traditional colleges often don’t require students to have any social media training in relation to the job search, you must train yourself.  Using some of the pointers from Part 1 of this blog can be extremely beneficial, but following some influential people like Amanda on Twitter can certainly help your social media training.

Amanda had great insight on a subject that many job seekers do not know what is out there about themselves, be it positive or negative.  Amanda offered insight on this topic by asking all the attendees of the panel to now only Google yourself to find out what is out there, but to also set up Google Alerts so you know when people are searching about you.  She also noted that it is important to be proactive in keeping up with your Social Media privacy settings, but to not rely on them as a way to keep information private.  It is important to moderate your page, to untag photos of a late night last weekend, and to let others know that you value their friendship but not their constant tags or obscene comments.  Amanda pleaded to us about thinking about the bigger picture of our job search and to use connections as an asset.

On a side note, this is part of the reason I was so distraught after last year’s Social Media Summit.  I do not think that college gives you the proper tools to prepare yourself adequately for the job search in today’s job landscape.  Maybe I didn’t utilize career services to the utmost extent, but I was an extremely diligent student that was active at both Slippery Rock and Shippensburg.  I should not have this much trouble finding a job that I enjoy and am good at.  I’m so glad that I had the opportunity to attend the last two Summit’s as I have learned so much invaluable information that I can now relay to my connections.  I want to help in a way that I don’t think my professors did.

Another person who had a great impact on not only this panel, but the Social Media Summit as a whole was Rachel Strella, of Camp Hill’s Strella Social Media (http://strellasocialmedia.com/).  Here is a quick bio about Rachel and how Strella Social Media came about:

“It was Rachel’s mentor who suggested that she might be an entrepreneur. She understood that in order for Rachel to be happy, she had to run her own show!  As it happened, Rachel’s mentor provided her not only with inspiration but with a problem that Rachel knew how to solve. That same day, Rachel’s mentor attended a social media marketing event that left her feeling overwhelmed and uncertain about the new tools. She suggested that Rachel use her knowledge of social media to help small business owners understand it and use it properly.  Rachel took a leap of faith and decided to start the business, alongside her day job, in July 2010. The business began as Central PA Webster, a company helping small business owners understand the mechanics of social media. It soon evolved into a social media management business as Rachel found that many business owners did not have time to maintain an effective or consistent social media presence by themselves. By September 2010, Rachel was able to leave her day job and focus on the business full-time.”

As any fan of this blog will tell you, I am an advocate of small business, especially in the Harrisburg area.  I am extremely proud of Rachel and her hard work and I wish her nothing but the best.  But it’s not just well wishers that have made her successful, it was hard work and perseverance.  Rachel has come to the forefront of social media marketing in the Harrisburg area and has a lot of great advice for job seekers.  Rachel stressed to the panel how important personal branding is, using the available tools to make you stand out from the crowd in the job search.  That was the one thing that struck home to me and my situation.  I have worked hard over the last year to make my personal brand stand out and I feel I have done a great job.  She was also quick to point out that the concept of Social Media is much larger than a single social networking site, it is the collaboration of all of them that creates your personal brand.  Letting your personality shine through on social media is one quick way to stand out in the job search.

Overall, this panel was so informative that even I couldn’t imagine covering every single point that the panelists discussed.   To close the discussion of this I would like to give those still in school or those having graduated already a 5-step checklist for using social media for their job search:

1.  Linked In – Completing your Linked In profile to 100% is the easiest thing you can do to help your search.  Consider former professors, present colleagues, former bosses, managers, superiors, etc. to write recommendations of your work.  This provides a personal touch that can go a long way with potential employers.

2. Google Yourself, set Google Alerts, Familiarize yourself with Facebook privacy settings – Knowing what is out there about you and what is and is not available to the public allows you to know what potential employers can see.

3.  Volunteer with local Non-profit organizations – Volunteering your free time (in my case, what little I have) is a powerful way to not only create more connections but to add different skills to your arsenal.  There is an opportunity to network within your non-profit work, but remember that the organization comes first, not your personal agenda.

4.  Join Linked In groups – Linked In groups are a great way to keep up with the pulse of your industry.  Becoming active in the conversations are a very easy way to add connections and possibly land a job.

5.  Blogging – Start a blog about your subject matter.  Create content and start a conversation.  Interview those in the field that are knowledgeable, but stick to your opinion.  Just because they are an expert does not mean that their opinion is paramount to yours.  It is your blog after all!

I truly encourage readers to follow @ahaddaway and @rachelstrella on Twitter for further information about all social media topics, as well as job opportunities.  Thank you so much you two for an amazing panel!

Paul M. Miller

pmiller@solutionsforadvertising.com

Twitter: @SolutionsforAdv

LinkedIn:  http://www.linkedin.com/pub/paul-miller/3b/b5/495

At the 2011 Social Media Summit, the Social Media and the Job Search panel was by far the most informative panel that I attended.  I learned an amazing array of techniques to increase the probability of finding a job in my job search.  Some of the things I learned last year were:

1. The Importance of Linked In – Linked In creates 6x more job opportunities than Facebook.  It is also very important to have recommendations on your page from former managers, bosses, colleagues and clients.

2. Using WordPress (or any blog site) – Blogging about your subject expertise is a free way to enhance your personal brand.  I started last September blogging about Social Media and have had a great experience, with my blog last month going over 500 unique views.

3.  Knowing what is out there about you (Google your name) – Googling your name is something you can do to know what is online about you.  I have a common name and it is important to know what Paul Miller (be it myself or another Paul Miller) is doing.

4.  Using the privacy settings in Facebook so your personal information is not public.  Knowing the privacy settings on Facebook is extremely imperative when searching for a job.  The last thing you want your perspective employer to see is pictures of you partying last weekend.

This all being said, I was extremely excited to attended the Job Search panel this year.  I wanted to see what new advice was available for the Job Search and how things may have changed over the last year.

To start the panel off, the panelists discussed how the job search is now 100% online.  I don’t know if I agree with that totally, but I would agree that the present day landscape is at least 95% online.  The panelists also noted that between 60 – 80% of jobs are found via networking with colleagues, present and former bosses, and recent clients.  Being able to leverage your connections to find a job as well as using your connections as an asset is the easiest way to find a job in today’s economy.

There were two people on the Job Search panel that I found extremely helpful with their information, Amanda Haddaway (@ahaddaway on Twitter) and Rachel Strella (@RachelStrella).  I will go into detail in part 2 of this blog about specific information for each of these two intelligent women, but I want to focus on more general information in Part 1.

The most recurring theme during this panel centered around Personal Branding.  Positioning yourself as a professional with expertise and engaging readers can create a whole community of contacts.  Using relevant information to your field can help you connect with the decision makers that you want to connect with to find work.

Other than blogging, becoming active in your community by volunteering with local non-profit organizations is a free way to enhance your personal brand.  Finding a non-profit organization that you support allows you to not only add more connections to your arsenal, but shows potential employers that you care about your community.  Personally, I am involved with two local non-profit organizations, The Bethesda Mission of Harrisburg and the Autism Society of the Greater Harrisburg area.  I became involved with the Bethesda Mission because it is important to have an outreach program for those who have become down on their luck and allow them to get back on their feet.  The Autism Society hits close to home for me because I have a son that was diagnosed with autism.  The Autism Society of the Greater Harrisburg Area is something that I will be a part of for the rest of my life.  Through these organizations I have received a great deal of connections and recommendations through my volunteer work.  It also gives me an amazing way to give back to the community as well as a way for me to feel good about myself.

I would highly suggest that you begin with Linked In.  LI is the most important thing that you can do to get on the right path to finding a job.  There is so much more to talk about from this panel that I will continue in part 2 of this blog for next Monday, June 11.

Paul M. Miller

pmiller@solutionsforadvertising.com

Twitter: @SolutionsforAdv

LinkedIn:  http://www.linkedin.com/pub/paul-miller/3b/b5/495

The 2012 Social Media Summit was an enormous success both on a personal level and on a professional level.  Solutions for Advertising had an opportunity to sponsor the Facing Forward:  A Discussion on Social Networks and the Future.  This was our first time sponsoring a panel like this and were very pleased with the outcome of the panel.

I will be blogging about the two best panels that I attended, Social Networking and the Job Search and the Facing Forward panel.  I’d like to do a two-part blog about the Job Search, which I will post part 1 June 4 and part 2 June 11.  I’d also like to do a two-part blog about the Facing Forward panel, with part 1 being posted June 18 and part 2 being posted June 25.  I like to lay out when I’ll be posting each so I can keep myself on task, but also so my readers know when to expect new blogs.  And if it is one thing that I learned at the Job Search panel in regards to blogs, it certainly is don’t do more than you can handle.   I feel that one blog a week is certainly within my means, and for the summer at least, would like to post one per week (or so).

With this entry, I would like to go over some of the main ideas I’ll cover in my coming entries in June.  First of all, kudos to Harrisburg University for another outstanding event.  Steve Infanti and all of the staff at Harrisburg U should be proud of what they are able to with the limited resources that are available for this event.  Panelists of this event come without being paid and even have to foot their own travel expenses.  That being said, without the expertise of the panelists, this event would not be the success that is it.

There were two specific individuals that made the day very special to me personally.  The first person I would like to mention is Amanda Haddaway.  She has been quoted in several national publications for her HR and marketing expertise and has written her own book, Destination Real World: Success after Graduation for new and soon-to-be college graduates.  I also recommend job seekers follow her on Twitter (@ahaddaway) for added insight.  In next week’s blog, I will chronicle what amazing things Amanda had to say.

The second individual that made an amazing impression on me was Chris Dessi.  Mr. Dessi spoke at the Facing Forward panel and is CEO of Silverback Social. He is also an award-winning digital media executive, best-selling author, university lecturer, prominent blogger and keynote speaker.  His book “Your World is Exploding: How Social Media is Changing Everything and How You Need to Change With It”, shot to #1 on Amazon.com’s Hot New Releases in its first two weeks of publication. Dessi is a regular contributor on Fox News, and Good Day New York.  It truly was a pleasure to have the opportunity to not only enjoy his comments on the Future of Social Networking, but also to have the pleasure to have dinner with him and discuss my career path with someone who I extremely look up to.  I will discuss what amazing advice Mr. Dessi had for me in the Facing Forward blog entries later this month.  Follow Chris on Twitter @cdessi and find Silverback Social on Facebook.

This year’s experience overall was quite different from last year in a positive way.  Last year I didn’t have the knowledge that I have now.  I didn’t know about Linked In or even where to begin with blogging.  In the past 10 months, I have made every step to put myself in a position to succeed and I’m very happy with my progress.  I did realize at the Summit that I still have a long way to go to be where I want to be.  I’m sure I’ll find my direction with the help of people like Amanda Haddaway and Chris Dessi.

Paul M. Miller

pmiller@solutionsforadvertising.com

Twitter: @SolutionsforAdv

LinkedIn:  http://www.linkedin.com/pub/paul-miller/3b/b5/495