More than likely we are all connected in some form or another by social media. It is definitely a monumental movement that has broken through communication barriers and connected people of all backgrounds in so many ways. Social media successes are apparent all around the world from helping a small business grow, locating long lost relatives and even helping people find jobs through LinkedIn. With successes there are also downfalls to social media. Messages can be taken out of context, provocative pictures can get in the wrong hands and future employers can check your personal life and make a bias judgment against you. Ten things to ask yourself before you post could be:
Asking these few questions can prevent you from having to recant unnecessary information in the future. Using social media in a more positive light is beneficial, but if these tips do not work for you there is always the option of changing up your name to limit search ability.
- Will this post be appropriate for the front of the New York Times?
- Will anyone really care about this content besides me?
- Will I offend anyone with this content? If so, who? Does it matter?
- Is this appropriate for a social portal, or would it best be communicated another way?
- Did I spell check?
- Will I be okay with a future company looking to hire me seeing this?
- Is this post too vague? Will everyone understand what I’m saying?
- Am I using this as an emotional dumping ground? If so, why? Is a different outlet better for these purposes?
- Am I using too many abbreviations in this post and starting to sound like a teenager?
- Is this reactive communication or is it well thought-out?
Common mistakes that people make using LinkedIn:
Finding your next position with LinkedIn:
- Treating LinkedIn like an online resume
- The recruiter can easily request your resume, use LinkedIn to highlight your volunteer experience, list all of your past positions, and make it robust, with your resume you want to limit to 2 pages if possible, but with LinkedIn, you have the ability to provide additional information.
- Not using the summary section
- Think of the summary as selling yourself, this is your opportunity to express your voice, showcase your writing skills and personality.
- There are many people competing for the same jobs, this summary page will give you the chance to show your energy and personality.
- Not tailoring their privacy settings
- If you are currently looking while still employed, you may not want your current employer to know this. Sign in to LinkedIn and then go to the settings (it’s near your name on the upper right hand corner).
- Using the standard connection request
- It’s not about quantity but quality. This is the time to build those professional relationships
- Even if you’re reaching out to someone you don’t know, do a little research on that person and then customize your connection request.
- Also, when someone sends you a request to connect, send a short thank you note and ask to schedule a connection call.
- Starting the LinkedIn account and just leaving it
- You should update your LinkedIn account as well as join groups you may be interested in and that are industry specific
- Also, comment on different postings. This will help get you noticed as well as showcase your expertise in a particular field
- Not having a professional photo
- The picture should be of you, not your family members, your pets.
- Also, misrepresenting your self with a much younger photo (similar to catfishing). This is normally a concern for older people who are worried about age discrimination. When you do come in for an interview, this can be seen as deceptive
- A recent study conducted by HSN Beauty found that 19% of recruiters look only at your profile picture
- You are 7 times more likely to have your profile viewed if you have a photo. It’s similar to a realtor listing a house for sale and not having any pictures
- 96% of recruiters utilize LinkedIn when seeking candidates. They spend an average of 10 – 20 seconds looking at each profile to determine whether they should continue reading. This is the reason the summary is so important
- Your job title should never say, “Unemployed, “Transitioning”, etc.
- They look at the picture for professionalism
- They also look to see if anyone has provided a recommendation to you
- 73% of recruiters look at your profile unsolicited
- They are also looking at what you post on Facebook and Twitter. They are looking to see your memberships, professional affiliations, who you know, your volunteer efforts etc. They are also looking at what’s in your pictures
- 89% of recruiters have hired through LinkedIn
- Add keywords in your summary so that when recruiters search, they are able to find you
- 54% say they are using Twitter, however only about 15% actually obtain candidates from Twitter.
- If you’re interested in a company, follow them on Twitter, connect to them on LinkedIn. Join their discussion groups
Everyone is rewarded for his or her hard work. Or at least that’s the expectation. However, women today are still struggling to have their hard work appreciated the same way as men. Though women have come a long way, workplace discrimination still exists today. While it is illegal to discriminate based on gender, women still face many problems that make their ability to succeed in the workplace much harder.
Here are eight of the most common problems women are facing in the workplace today:
1. Do It All There are certain expectations put on working women to have a perfect work-life balance. Women make up 46% of the U.S. workforce and getting a job isn’t as unorthodox as it once was; in fact, it’s expected. However, what is also expected is that a women’s full time dedication to family should not be effected. Instead of finding a comfortable work-life balance, society expects that women should be able to be a full time everything. If a women works too hard, she is a ‘workaholic who neglects her family’. But if she’s always there for her family, ‘she’s too distracted to succeed in the workplace’. Sometimes, it seems like there’s no win. Either she’s seen as neglectful and cold hearted or she’s seen as distracted and not dependable. Unfortunately, society’s expectation of a work-life balance is not always a feasible work-life balance.
2. Equal Pay The fact that women still only make 77.5 cents for every dollar earned by a man is not news. And though the Equal Pay Act was passed over 50 years ago, women are still not being paid as much as men for the same job. 99% of women make less then men in the same job. The good news is that this gap seems to be closing slowly. More women are deciding to further their education and learning how to negotiate their salaries. However, for women today, this gap is not closing fast enough.
3. Negotiating with Confidence This problem is an extension of the equal pay issue. Though much of the equal pay gap has to do with gender discrimination, a large problem actually lands on women. According to an article published on Salary.com, women could loose out on a potential $2 million over the course of their careers by not negotiating properly. The problem is that a majority of women feel wary about negotiating their salary. And even more do not know how to do it properly. This all boils down to perception (which is also my next point). Men are encouraged and expected to negotiate their salary. But women often feel that if they do they will be perceived as arrogant or ‘nagging’. Often times, this prevents women from negotiating and those who do, usually give up easily at the first sign of difficulty. But ask yourself this, how much do you think your worth? If you don’t think your worth more, why should your potential employer? When you are given a job offer, your potential employer is looking to give you lowest salary acceptable. However, negotiating shows your potential employer that you value your skills and qualifications much more than that and that they should too.
4. Perception A big issue still faced by women today is that they are perceived differently in the workforce as men. Just think of the different adjectives used to describe each gender. Men who spend all day and night at work are ‘dedicated’ while women are ‘workaholics’. Men are ‘leaders’ while women are ‘bossy’. The language and perception that people use to differentiate between men and women are big part of what creates this discrimination.
5. Having Children The United States one of four countries in the world (along with Liberia, Sierra Leone and Papua New Guinea that still does not give or require employers to give their employees paid maternity leave. Policies like this make it tough for a dreaming career woman to become a family woman as well. However, that’s not all, many employers can be hesitant to promote women or give them career-making projects knowing that they have or plan to have children. Women are sometimes seen as distracted and not dependable if they have a family too, while men who have families are not. It seems that the idea that women have a responsibility to take care of the children is still lingering.
6. Expectation to Have Children Unfortunately, on the other hand, not having children to focus on one’s career is not only seen as cold and selfish, but as not feminine. Societal expectations demand that at some point in our lives, us women will settle down and have kids. Not doing so is looked down upon (by both men and women). Now you can see the double standard. Women are worried: ‘have kids and you may not get that promotion’, ‘don’t have kids and you’re not feminine enough’. Double standards like this are subtle but still prevalent in the workplace.
7. Sexual Harassment Unfortunately, sexual harassment is still very much a common experience in the work place. One in four women (and one in ten men) have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace and 85% still see it as a problem in the U.S. And though the percentage of women experiencing sexual harassment has gone down, from 32 % in the early 1990s to 25%, there are still challenges that remain today. Many women who have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace do not report it. Only 56% of those harassed felt like they would be treated fairly, while 40% were afraid of the consequences of filing a report. The problem is that there is still a culture that shames women who have been taken advantage of sexually, implying that they must have done something to provoke it. This is exactly the type of perception that makes sexual harassment so common.
8. Glass Ceiling The glass ceiling is a common phrase referring to a barrier that block women from moving up past a certain point in their company. Four out of ten businesses in the world have no women in their senior management. And though there are inspirational stories of successful businesswomen, like CEO of Yahoo! Marissa Mayer, women hold only 4.8 % of Fortune 500 CEO positions and only 5% of Fortune 1000 CEO positions. With women making up a majority of the population and almost half the workforce, these percentages are not as high as they should be.
These problems are difficult to face and for young women today, who have become more aware of the discriminations faced by women today, the work force seems like a daunting place. The fact is that a majority of women today are facing these problems and though our situation has much improved, there is so much more that needs to change before the workplace becomes a safe, fair and successful environment for women.
Alright so you finally landed your dream job! Yesss!! and if you already have an appropriate wardrobe or extra money lying around you are all set to go! Wait a minute you don’t?? If all you see in your closet is t-shirts, jeans and that one suit you borrowed from a friend you might have a problem. Luckily, you can quickly assemble a basic office wardrobe that won't break your bank. Using some simple fashion tips and by shopping smart you can assemble a wardrobe that you can wear every week, without it being obvious that you only have one week's worth of clothes. Here are a few tips to help you along the way:
Purchase large pieces (pants, skirts, and jackets) in neutral colors that mix and match.
Neutral colors -- black, navy blue, gray, tan, cream, white work best, as they not only mix with each other, they don't stand out so you can wear them repeatedly. Five well-chosen shirts combined with two pairs of pants will give you ten combinations, but two outfits that don't go with anything else will only give you two combinations. Shoes: If you can only start with one pair of shoes to go with everything, choose black. For your second pair, choose a color that will go with more of your wardrobe. If you tend to have more earth colors, such as beige, brown, tan, yellow, green, and orange, look for tan or dark brown shoes. Do not dismiss the importance of avoiding very high heels in the office because you might be wearing them for at least seven hours or more. Shoes with heels over 2 inches high will likely feel very uncomfortable at day's end. Neutral beige hose works best with all color shoes - avoid white, dark "suntan," very shiny hose, and tights.
Reasonably priced clothing stores:
You probably have a limited amount of time and budget, start with the lowest-price stores first. If a particular kind of store listed below isn't in your area, skip it rather than taking a long trip. Be ruthless about quality and usability. If it's a beautiful jacket that doesn't go with anything else, it's not a bargain.
- Thrift stores and Cosignment shops (Goodwill, The Salvation Army): The ones in nicer neighborhoods tend to have more options. Be aware of what's repairable and avoid buying used shoes.
- Discount Retailers (Wal-Mart, K-Mart, Target): Buy your dress socks and/or pantyhose, possibly your shoes and tie here.
- Mid-level department stores (Sears, JC Penney): The mid-level stores usually have big clearance racks where you can find good-quality stuff, but skip the overpriced stuff in the front of the store.
No matter what your budget is there are always options for you. Remember when you go on your interviews look and see how the rest of the staff is dressed. This should give you a clear understanding of the dress code rules you should adhere to. As always “A smile is the prettiest thing you can wear”!!!