Using Your Social Media Profiles as a Resume Boost

May 13, 2015 / no comments

Importance of Social Media for Your Resume

I’m slowly learning being in the digital marketing industry, especially social media it is more important how your social profiles and website look rather than your traditional resume.  Employers are more often than not using social media networks to find the right candidate, rather than going through resumes. Although it is important to maintain a proper resume, it is becoming even more important if not already as to how you conduct yourself on LinkedIn, Twitter and more recently Instagram.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is your professional tool that shows employers and connections that you mean business. Your profile is basically a digital resume showcasing your past jobs, responsibilities and how many people have recommended you on your skills. If you are seriously looking for a job keeping a polished LinkedIn page is your best bet at getting noticed and taken seriously. Not only does LinkedIn have millions of members which translates into millions of possibilities for connections, your profile also shows up in Google searches. When someone Google’s your name you want to ensure your professional profile comes up polished and well-kept and not an embarrassing Facebook photo, Google likes that.

Twitter

In the social media community management world, employers often want you to submit your Twitter handle. This allows them to see your thoughts, what brands you follow and care about, and how your content writing skills look in 140 characters or less. If you’ve become an emotional “tweeter” may I suggest not doing this and use your Twitter account to start conversations with brands or reach out to social influencers in your space to show that you are in the know.

Instagram

With the viral popularity of Instagram, employers may look at your account to see who you are as a person. The saying goes “pictures or it didn’t happen”. Instagram let’s employers briefly see into your life, what activities you participate in and how you see the world. Corporate culture and how you fit into a company is becoming more important than whether you have the right skills. If you are serious about making it in the social media industry, you better be on Instagram and you better know how to use the right filters.

The best advice I can give for people looking to dive into a social media career are;

1) Clean Up Your Social Profiles

Facebook photo albums of parties when you were 18 were fun but it’s a blast from the past that can be kept private.

2) Care About Who You Are Connecting With

Follow and engage with brands and companies you care about. Creating a personal community you are proud of will show potential employers you know how to manage their communities.

3) Create a Website, Landing Page, or Online Profile

Yes the profiles you manage live online and are available for anyone to see, but when employers are looking for the perfect candidate pulling the best stats from a profile or campaign you worked on will make their job a lot easier.

6 Reasons Community Managers Need to Learn How to Code

April 17, 2015 / no comments

Day in the life of a Community Manger

I am a Community Manager. My job requires me to manage the social profiles of our clients, to create compelling and shareable content with a CTA (Call to Action), that will increase engagement, followers, likes and shares. On the opposite side of the office is the Web Team, what they do I have no idea. No matter where you work, you may have noticed a clear divide between technical and non-technical employees- those who can build things with code and those who cannot.

It seems to me that those who are considered technical employees are the ones who are in high demand and can create the ideas that community managers can only dream of. Now, what if there was no disconnect? What if the community manager could post content, monitor results, and build social campaigns that go viral every time? In the next 5-10 years it’s said the divide between technical and non-technical is going to close and many people will need to learn how to code to keep up with their jobs. I sure don’t want to be left behind, do you? If you are still unsure, here are 6 reasons why learning to code will benefit you as a community manager.

1. You will better understand how your product works

Once you understand even the basics of coding, you’ll get a feel for the building blocks that make up tech products, such as APIs, databases, and web servers.

2. You will be able to communicate better with the web design team

Imagine sitting down at a table full of your company’s engineers and being able to speak their language.

 3. You can generate inights that will improve community retention and engagement

With coding knowledge, you can break down exactly how your company’s Facebook group is performing. You’ll be able to see which users are most active, which are liking the most posts and commenting the most, as well as those who have not visited recently.

 4. You can easily automate the tasks you hate doing

With basic coding skills, you can generate custom reports and metrics instead of manually collating data in spreadsheets.

5. You will understand the backbones of websites

You can create and customize the look and feel of your site without putting in a request and waiting weeks for a web developers help.

6. You will be able to pull insights from community spaces

Learn how to pull analytics from Facebook groups, Twitter chats, and other gathering places where you’re otherwise powerless to gain data-backed insights.

Great advice via Huw Walters at CMX Hub http://ow.ly/MlbhQ

How To Boost Your Creativity At Work

April 10, 2015 / no comments

Connecting with your inner creative self at work can be challenging sometimes, so here are some tips on how to boost your creativity in the workplace!

Stop Checking The Clock

 

You’ll be surprised how much your sense of time affects what you think you can accomplish in a workday. Constantly checking the clock is a key contributor to stress in the workplace, and effectively works to destroy an employee’s ability to think creatively. Try taking off your watch and letting your internal clock take over for a while, you’ll notice a difference in your overall productivity, efficiency and relaxation level.

 

Listen To Music

 

Listening to music at work can help you feel calm and relaxed, subsequently encouraging your brain to think more creatively and openly. Studies have established that listening to music creates emotions and a change in your overall mood through shifting brain waves. This shift works to anchor creativity by attaching certain feelings with certain songs. Essentially, these emotions evoked by listening to different types of music work to foster creative thinking and can even boost efficiency.

 

Take Breaks

 

 If you find yourself in a creative slump, try taking a constructive break. Spend some time doodling, reading, or doing a mental puzzle – anything to get your mind working more imaginatively. You’ll find that the distraction will help you approach your task with more clarity and inspiration. Planned breaks maximize efficiency, creativity and generally improve focus to complete the task at hand.

 

Collaborate

 

 Brainstorming is a tried and true method for producing creative ideas and stimulating creative thought. It is best for a brainstorming group to freely generate as many creative ideas as possible, without holding back. Once everyone has been given a chance to express his or her creative thoughts, the group should work together to evaluate each idea and come to a consensus on a final concept. Creativity is fostered when employees can effectively work together and feed off of each other’s ideas.

 

Be Positive

           

Being engaged and optimistic at your job will lead to more creativity and innovation while completing various projects. Being an engaged member of your organization contributes to increased motivation in the workplace, improves performance and the quality of your work. Basically, to be creative you need to care about your job and the work you are doing. If you participate in ‘self talk’ that asserts that “I’m not capable of creative thought,” then you are pigeonholing yourself and limiting your own ability. Everyone has the ability to be creative, partake in creative thought processes and be an innovator!

5 Things You Should Never Say During A Job Interview

March 12, 2015 / no comments

The interview process can be a very stressful experience. Interviews force you to come face to face with employers who are searching for the perfect candidate to fill an open job position. This demand for perfection can place a lot of pressure on the interviewee because they cannot afford to make a single error. What is even more terrifying is that those conducting interviews actively seek out negative qualities in the job seekers whom they meet. This means that one sentence or a nervous habit can turn a great interview into a lost employment opportunity.

The following is a list of sentences and phrases that are known to turn employers off and can result in a complete waste of time. When meeting with a company’s HR recruitment manager, be aware of the items on the following list and try to avoid them at all costs.

 The use of “like” and “um”

These phrases interrupt the flow of a sentence and allude to an inability to concentrate or think on one’s feet. Especially for higher-level positions, these interjectory phrases are sometimes associated with a lack of intelligence or lack of interest on the subject. Furthermore, interviewers may read this as a sign of poor critical thinking skills.

 “I want to own my own business”

Entrepreneurial ambitions are aspirations best left unsaid during an interview. While it is a productive goal, HR recruitment managers may interpret this as quite the opposite. In fact, they may not see ambition at all, but rather a potential threat. This is because employers tend to fear high turnover rates and stolen proprietary information. The last thing an employer wants to do is train a future competitor.

 “What does your company do?”

This is something you should never ask during an interview. Asking this question is the easiest way to ruin an interview. It creates the appearance that you have a poor work ethic and a blatant disregard for the time of the interviewer. You should always research the company you are interviewing for. Knowing specific facts about the company gives the interviewer the impression that you are interested in the position and took the time to prepare for the interview.

 “How am I doing?”

Employers want to hire those who express confidence. When you ask a question such as this during an interview, you not only leave yourself open to undesirable feedback, you may also create the appearance of someone who is insecure. Insecurity is an unfavorable trait for employers searching to fill a job position because it is usually a byproduct of being inefficient. Employers favour employees who display strength and self-assurance.

 “How long is this interview going to take?”

The interviewer’s time is just as valuable as yours. By asking a question such as this you are ultimately saying that you have better places to be. If you show that they are not a priority, then you have just wasted your time, as this will inevitably reflect negatively on your personality.

In Summary

If you are looking for a new job opportunity and plan on going to job interviews, you should make it worth your while. Try and plan ahead of time so that you are prepared and do not fall into any traps set by the interviewer. By avoiding the pitfalls described above you will already be ahead of your competition. Good luck!

 

 

 

4 Ways To Be More Productive at Work

February 24, 2015 / one comment

Prioritize

Prioritizing tasks takes a lot of effort, but can ultimately help you be far more productive during your workday. Start with your most daunting tasks first. Completing your largest, most difficult projects at the beginning of the workday, when your mind is the freshest, will ensure that they are not avoided. Give yourself realistic time limits for each of your projects and execute accordingly. Not only will this help you have a more efficient workday, but it will also decrease stress. Prioritizing is key.

 Create To Do Lists

First thing in the morning, make a to do list of all the things you need to accomplish over the course of the workday in a priority sequence, along with any other notes you need to remember. Making a to do list first thing in the morning helps to organize your entire day and allows you to clearly see what you need to achieve. Set time goals for each task and try and stick to them. A good tip for creating to do lists is to break down when you are at your peak performance each day, and plan your to do list tasks accordingly so you are using those peak times to complete your most complicated tasks.

 Schedule Breaks

Strategizing and writing take a lot of mental effort and you brain can only focus for a specific amount of time. Schedule a break into your workday routine. Short breaks help you to be more productive during your workday as they help you focus, reenergize and keep your momentum up. Getting away from your desk for even a few short minutes allows you to come back with a fresh perspective and can help you produce better quality work!

 Don’t Multi Task

Since we are creatures of habit, it is safe to say that our brains are not good at multi-tasking or task switching. When multi-tasking, you are unable to focus on important details and are more likely to forget things, or leave things out. Multitasking also makes you less productive. Experts say that individuals experience a 40% loss in productivity when multi tasking or task switching between projects. It’s better to focus on one task at a time to produce effective, quality work and be more productive in the workplace.

The Importance of Corporate Culture

February 5, 2015 / no comments

Culture is Important

Corporate culture is becoming increasingly important in the war for talent and retention at companies of all types around the world. Corporate culture is the personality of a company and it can’t be faked. Brand & Mortar has a great corporate culture which is one of the reasons I enjoy working here and the main reason I even applied. When the call went out for a new social media community manager besides all the regular daily duties and qualifications, something stood out over any other job I was applying for, and that was a brief insight into what life at B&M was really like.

Life at Brand & Mortar

“At Brand & Mortar we strive to create an environment that breeds great ideas and collaboration, we want to hear yours and have you run with them. Our office space is fun, energetic and you’ll never hate “going to work” again. Work for a company that loves to get out and plan trips like camping, paint balling, and more. Flexibility to work from home some days.”

Now with a description like that how could I not apply!? The startup atmosphere is becoming the way of the future and how Millennials want to work. The freedom to come and go as we please, be a part of work that matters, have our ideas and voices heard, and of course casual Friday every day.

Culture Equals Motivation

The benefits of having a strong culture in your company means that your employees will actually want to work for you and not for anyone else, making them a positive investment for your business. The corporate ladder of some larger institutions such as banks and investment firms may still hold their ground on Bay Street, but as the world progresses into turning totally digital, it’s the creative marketing agencies with their “Beer Fridays” and their working in bean bag chairs that you’re going to be looking at to work with.

What’s Your Fit?

As important as it is to create a strong company culture that will attract new talent, it’s also important for you to find your fit within the culture. Ultimately it’s up to the employer to make sure that they hire people that fit their company. Unfortunately, it is difficult for employers to consider an applicant’s fit when hiring, because most job interviews fail to cover the proper “cultural” questions.

Just as important as experience, education or qualifications are, you need to be consistent with the company’s culture if you hope to land your dream job. By taking the time to predict your fit, you heighten the chances of landing a job you love, luckily I think I’ve found my great fit already!

Tech Skills: Learn To Build Your Own Websites

January 8, 2015 / no comments

Tech skills are fast becoming one of the greatest additions to your work tool box; high demand, multipurpose, practical hard skills that can be used in a multitude of settings. With almost everyone needing a website for their business, personal blog or community group – being able to navigate code and website technology is becoming vital in today’s online age of virtual communication. It’s a new year and if you want to pick up some new tech skills for complete newbies the best place to start is with HTML and CSS.

HTML and CSS are the foundation of website design. If you want to build a website from scratch they are the coding languages you will need to know. So what is HTML and CSS?

Let’s start with how a website page is made: HTML

HTML or HyperText Markup Language creates the bones of any web page by structuring content. An HTML page is split into 2 parts: The <head> where all the information and resources the page will be utilizing are kept and the <body> where any information that will be visible on your web page will be kept. HTML is a ‘tag’ language that defines different elements of a page through the use of different <tags>.

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So we have the structure down – but it looks hideous… Now we need CSS!

CSS or Cascading Style Sheets is a presentation language that is used to make HTML prettier. Without CSS this is what a plain ‘ol HTML page looks like. Not that great looking. With the addition of CSS we can change how our content looks. Ok – to be fair this example is not very ‘wowza’ but you get the idea behind how powerful it is to have control over how your webpage will look. Then you can start making examples like this:

Now it’s your time to start learning those skills

Don’t get me wrong it can be a long road to learning new tech skills but by getting the basics down first you open a gate way to more complicated coding languages. These 2 coding languages alone can ensure you have the ability to save money building and managing your own website, make changes to that website when you choose and understanding how to troubleshoot issues when they happen. Learning a new technical skill will also open a lot of doors and adds so much value to what you can bring to the table at your current or new workplace. It’s also great as a freelancer or small business owner to know, as much of your time can be spent organizing/fixing/pulling your hair out over your IT issues.

Take a look at the amazing free online materials and courses to learn more about HTML and CSS:

 So what are you waiting for? Go get geeky!

10 Tips to Ace Your Next Job Interview

December 4, 2014 / no comments

Let’s face it, interviews are weird. They’re uncomfortable, awkward, inorganic meetings with a lot of pressure attached to them. If you’re a recent graduate, like myself, then you know these feelings all too well. Interviews suck, but they’re an inevitable and necessary part of adult life and – believe it or not – they can work to build your confidence, too. From my experience as a millennial in the job market, I’ve come up with 10 tips that cover everything you need to know to ace your next job interview.

Do your research

Before your interview always research the company (what they do, their culture, who their clients are…) because there’s nothing more embarrassing than being asked to explain what the company that’s interviewing you does, and not knowing the answer.

Dress for success

First impressions are a massive part of interviews. Before you have a chance to open your mouth an employer gets an impression of you based on what you’re wearing, so make sure you have a good and APPROPRIATE interview outfit. Stay away from sweatpants and club attire.

Be on time

In short, time is money. This potential employer is taking time out of their busy day to interview you, so show them that their time is appreciated by arriving punctually. Show up 5-10 minutes before your interview.

Come prepared

Bring a copy of your resume to your interview. Of course you already sent it to your interviewer (duh, that’s how you got the interview in the first place) but it doesn’t hurt to make their lives a little easier and come with a hard copy as something to refer back to.

Don’t fidget

Easier said than done, I know, but try and be conscious of this bad habit. Fidgeting is a key sign of nervousness, and even though you are nervous, it’s in your best interest to try and appear as cool, calm, collected and confident as possible.

Body language

Sitting with your arms crossed and leaned back conveys a standoffish attitude. Sit with your arms in an open position and lean in when it’s called for. Both of these are forms of positive non-verbal communication that express a relaxed and comfortable attitude.

Listen

Don’t look like you’re drifting off into a mid afternoon daydream during your interview. Be engaged, make eye contact, nod your head and show your listening.

Think before you speak

You may think that this is obvious, but it’s good to remind yourself not to jump into answering an interviewer’s questions without thinking first. You want to emulate your best self in an interview, and taking time to answer questions shows you care (and makes for better answers).

Ask questions

At the end of an interview, the interviewer will most likely ask if you have any questions for them – say yes. It never hurts to come prepared with a couple good questions to ask post-interview. Asking questions shows that you are interested in what goes on in the company, and gives you a great opportunity to find out if it’s the right environment for you.

Be yourself

Chances are your mom has given you this same advice a couple times, but it’s important to showcase your personality! There’s no need to put added pressure on yourself to try and conform to who you think the interviewer wants you to be, just be yourself.

 

So, before your palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy (hopefully you don’t vomit on your sweater) think back to these interview tips and remember that you (yes, you) are awesome, your skills are valuable, and you’re PREPARED.

5 Quick Ideas to Combat Blogging Block

December 2, 2014 / no comments

You have a blog. You’ve made the decision to post new blog posts twice a week. Your deadline is looming ever closer and your mind starts to shut down into a blank nothingness… This has happened to me so many times. Creativity on demand can be very challenging and in moments where you find yourself stuck for ideas, you need fresh perspective to help combat the blogging block.

A Brainstorm Session with Friends

It’s a classic for a reason! Introducing new information, perspectives and collaborating with people is one of the easiest ways to get your creative juices flowing.

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Google, Google, Google

The internet is like a giant brain just waiting for you to pick out new ideas. Browse some articles on the topics you want to blog about. Go to blogs with the same subjects and see what others are doing.

Inspiration on Pinterest

There is a plethora of eye candy on Pinterest. Do a search for the subjects you blog about or follow interesting boards. Pinterest is also great in that they have a lot of how to’s and tutorials that can be really useful. Or just be inspired by what is being posted that day.

Use a Generator

Until I started blogging on a regular basis I didn’t realize that there are great tools that will help you create the title of a blog post just by adding a few keywords to a couple fields and clicking a button.

Get Outside

Creativity doesn’t always come from within – it can come from external sources too. Get some inspiration by checking out a show, finding meetup groups with others interested in your topic or just taking in some fresh air to help clear your mind.

Last of all

Remember why you started blogging in the first place. Why are you passionate about what you are writing about? What areas are you most interested in and what else can you cover? There is a whole world out there for you to get inspiration from. Go on – get inspired!