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Your Job Search, Your Computer Screen, and Social Media

July 6th, 2012

You’re on the job market and you don’t want to stay here long. So you’re using every tool at your disposal to find your way back into the workforce as quickly as possible. You’re making appointments with each of your contacts to ask for advice, you’re scanning job boards daily, and you’re following up on every conversation that might lead you to suitable employment. You’ve contacted your old bosses, your favorite professors, and (if you’re a new graduate), your friend’s parents. And you’re doing whatever you can to make the most of your internet resources, including social media. But before you rely too much on social media tools to advance your career, stop and think.

Social media can provide a great way to round out your job search, and it can definitely help you reach out to contacts you haven’t heard from in a while. But can Facebook and Twitter really provide a magic formula for instant job success?

Social Media and Your Job Search

Every day, we hear from job seekers (often new graduates and young people) who wonder why Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn aren’t launching their careers into the stratosphere. “I posted a profile,” they tell us, “but it doesn’t seem to be working.”

Our answer: Posting a social media profile probably won’t hurt your chances of success. But when it comes to the job search process, passivity, hope, and excessive time spent in front of a screen won’t get you where you need to be. Instead, post a profile and get quickly back into the real world. Pick up the phone and actively reach out to anyone you know who might be able to help you. Arrange “informational interviews”, or short meetings in which you sit down with your contacts and find out what they would do and who they would call if they were in your shoes.

In the meantime, use the hours between your meetings to search for open positions that match your qualifications and skills. When you find these positions, take decisive action. Research the companies behind these postings, tailor your cover letter directly to specific contacts at these firms, and polish your resume until it shines.

Each day when you wake up, develop a plan of attack that’s at least 80 percent action and no more than 20 percent social media and hopeful waiting. Put your shyness aside, be bold, go forth, and get away from your screen. Social media has its place, but if you make Facebook the cornerstone of your job search process, you may be engaged in the process for a very long time.

For specific tips and personal guidance, contact your local recruiting company in Fairfield County  at Merritt Staffing. We have the experience and resources you need to stand up to the challenges of your job search.

The Facebook Generation: Who are They, Where do They Work, and How Do They Get Things Done?

April 13th, 2012

The Facebook generation, also called the Millennials or Generation Y, represent the youngest members of the adult workforce. Whether we position them between the ages of 18 and 25 or between “recent high school grad” and “less than five years on the job”, these are the newbies. They grew up in a digital age, they don’t remember a world before email, and they were born closer to the millennial transition then the rest of us (though the true millennials won’t graduate for a few more years.)

Sometimes younger workers demonstrate common characteristics regardless of their era, and like all young employees, millennials are known for their energy, naiveté, and optimism. But there are a few trends that seem to set this crop of young workers apart from the rest. Recognizing these patterns can help managers better understand what drives millenials, which can help companies effectively coach, develop, and retain them.

The Facebook Generation: Where Do Millennials Work?

Millennial workers are comparatively well educated, and most of them are aware of this and proud of it. According to the Pew Research Center, 69 percent of them already have or are working toward college degrees. But like all generations of young workers, their jobs don’t often require degrees. While they’re still in school or just after they graduate, a large number of millennials hold non-degree positions in retail, hospitality and food service. So they know what it’s like to work hard in low-paying manual positions, often because they’re still doing it.

Facebook Generation: Ambitious (In Ways We Sometimes Weren’t)

Millennial workers list technology, education and finance among their top ten preferred fields. But they’re drawn to fun and flexibility, which means they don’t always enjoy the rigidity of traditional corporate workplaces. Many millennials navigate this by taking their skills in an entrepreneurial direction after they graduate from college. A disproportionately high number of them steer clear of Fortune Five Hundred employers and place their focus on starting small businesses. They want to own their own enterprises and are often unafraid of the requisite risk.

Millennials: The First Generation to Truly Mix Their Personal and Professional Lives

Facebook can be a business tool as well as a toy, and many millenials are finding ways to turn social media to their advantage at work. But even when they aren’t using Facebook to build client contacts or stay in touch with their teams, they still spend time on it during working hours. Wise managers recognize this and find ways to ensure that employees, while staying connected, are making the best use of company time.

For more practical management tips and insights into the millennial generation, contact an employment agency in Fairfield County at Merritt Staffing. We can help you find ways to coach younger workers, channel their energy, and offer them the support they need without losing focus on your company’s long term goals.

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