#keywords #resumes #gettingnoticed

I don’t know about you, but lately I’m feeling #hashtagged2death. Despite its social media inception being as far back as 2006, it seems that the hashtag recently overtook not just the Internet at large, but pop culture in general. It is everywhere – T-shirts, television shows, bumper stickers – and when paired with some of the social media acronym trends, mediums like Twitter feeds, Facebook updates and Instagram posts can sometimes seem like a whole new language. (I will admit I Googled #yolo when it first took over my social hashtagyourlife-1024x768media feed and I once asked my 14-year-old niece what #tbt meant on Instagram. It’s hard to keep up!)

Admittedly though, hashtags are useful, in that they cleverly group together a myriad of thoughts and musings from different people centered on a single topic. I’ve been known to use them in my own postings, but more often use them to gather information. When Superstorm Sandy hit about a year ago and I was worried about family and friends at the Jersey Shore, I found myself compulsively monitoring my Twitter feed for any post that had #sandy attached to the end. When I participate in Tweet Chats for work, hashtags are a great way to communicate virtually and share ideas with other Career Services professionals all over the country. And I didn’t even have to watch this year’s VMAs to know that Miley instantly became the most popular Halloween costume of 2013 (#twerkortreat). In a sense, social media has turned into a series of keywords and I just have to pay attention, or at least be a good guesser, to find the information I want in one single feed.

Keywords, keywords…why does that sound so familiar? Ah yes! It’s the resume tip that we, as an office, stress to students #every #single #day. When you are applying for a particular job or internship, include keywords in your resume. We review mounds (literally mounds – just look at my desk) of resumes each week and, more often than not, students have not tailored their resumes for a particular job or internship. You must tailor your resume for a particular job or internship. Now, that’s not to say you should ditch your generic resume to guide you through each application, but when you have that specific position that interests you, your resume submitted should be geared directly to that role using keywords throughout the page. Recruiters spend an average of 6 seconds scanning your resume, so you want keywords that are highly visible and eye-catching.

Tip: Every single job opportunity gives you a “cheat sheet” right there in the job description. Make sure you take advantage! Keep in mind you’ll want to incorporate the keywords while ensuring accuracy and integrity in your resume (don’t just copy and paste line items from the job description and then hope you can explain your way out of your fabrication when you are called in for an interview – that would result in a definite #fail). But if a company is looking for a particular skill that may be buried deep in your resume, pull it out and make it front and center, even if it wasn’t a main component of your role. Recruiters are looking for evidence that you can do the job based on your previous experience.  In a way, think of keywords as hashtags – if you don’t “tag” it, your resume won’t get pulled into the recruiter’s “feed” and will instead just float out there in the black hole of cyberspace. (Disclaimer: Please don’t actually incorporate hashtags into your resume. I would like to keep my job.)

Don’t forget, Career Services is here to help you 5 days a week. In addition to appointments, mock interviews, our online resources and our Career Services Library, we do offer a resume critiquing service for FREE (for both current students and alumni), so please be sure to get your resume reviewed by an advisor in the near future. Contact the Career Services team that serves your school to set that up.

Good luck as you navigate your career path! #BFN (That’s “Bye for now!” – Googled that one, too!)

The Hunt for Career Services: Social Media Challenge Blog Clue #PennCSHunt

We’re excited to be on day 4 of The Hunt for Career Services: Social Media Challenge 2013.  If you’re reading this blog post, then you’ll earn an entry into the hunt with two simple steps – add a comment to this post and fill out our super short form (it should take 15 seconds to fill out)!

What kind of comment, you ask? Tell us your favorite Penn Career Services’ resource on our website, it can be anything.  Then, go to this form to give us your name and email address – so we can get in touch if you’re selected as the winner of our iPad mini! If you want to increase your odds of winning, check out our Facebook event with all the clues.


The Hunt Is On For An iPad Mini

Social Media Challenge Flyer ImageWhat does an iPad mini, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, WordPress, and Vimeo have in common? Our 2013 Social Media Challenge, also known as The Hunt for Career Services, where we’re giving away an iPad mini. Yes, really, and yes, that is pretty sweet.

All you have to do is check out our social media channels (mentioned above) and submit a response to one or more of our clues. Follow the clues by searching for the #PennCSHunt hashtag. Get the full details on the challenge’s website, then get hunting!

p.s. there will be a clue shared here on the blog on Thursday, look for it!

LinkedIn and the ABD Graduate Student

by Ana Schwartz

abd_mugFor a Ph.D candidate in the humanities, LinkedIn might seem to be only remotely relevant. LinkedIn serves as a platform for connecting professionals, yet several important qualities of the academic profession don’t lend themselves to smooth representation in such a social network. Graduate research demands a highly specialized skill set that’s not often widely applicable and the networks cultivated in academia are often already close, occurring independently of a central platform—at conferences, through personal introductions, or perhaps on intra-disciplinary message boards. Anticipating future publication makes sharing samples of professional writing online a dicey proposition. Furthermore, academia boasts a unique culture of industry loyalty: tenure—or the pursuit of tenure—prevents great investment in alternate career paths, and in turn, diminishes the need to demonstrate a skill set beyond those taught in graduate school such as research, teaching.

Nevertheless, if we consider the growth of LinkedIn as a reflection of its possibilities, and its increasing flexibility across professional communities, there might be some utility in the social network. Career Services at the University of Pennsylvania offers appointments as well as walk-in visits during which students can work one-on-one with advisors to identify how LinkedIn, among other resources, can best supplement a student’s career goals, within the academy or otherwise. During a recent fifteen-minute walk-in meeting, Joseph Barber pointed out several important networking features that LinkedIn provides to help users represent their unique professional qualities. Cumulatively, these features—facilitating connections, showcasing endorsements, and providing tools for ongoing networking and social engagement—can be useful to research-oriented academics by facilitating professional reflection and self-assessment.

Profile-Based, Not Post-Based
LinkedIn is a social network that, like Facebook, and unlike, say, tumblr, is profile-based rather than post-based. Because LinkedIn prioritizes professional networks, the profile data used to suggest connections follows educational and employment history and can show how many degrees of separation exist between any two users. Although searches for other users must often be deliberate rather than prompted by the network, and because LinkedIn places high priority on public networking, there’s little point in making a profile difficult to find. And since a user often has to search out connections, the cumulative character of these connections can be a deliberate, if small part of a professional profile.

Demonstrate Expertise with Endorsements
These connections can become meaningful first, and most obviously, in leading to more connections, both virtually and in person. Second, they can be useful through the “endorsement” feature. LinkedIn allows users to request and grant endorsements regarding skills and expertise. These endorsements range from mastery of specific software (“Microsoft Office”) to facility in a broad skill set (“Research”). Over time, these endorsements appear in a graph that showcases the individual’s strongest qualities. Note that endorsements can be solicited. If a user considers herself exceptionally skilled in fundraising, for example, she might request endorsement in that specific facility by those familiar with her expertise. These endorsements can range from checking a box to writing a prose recommendation of another user’s strengths, a feature much like the letters of recommendation that often act as the currency of the academic profession. As a graduate student with teaching obligations, and thinking back to the first few letters requested by current and former students, this feature here provides useful insight into the sorts of skills and values that might be demanded by future employers of undergraduate students and advisees.

The Value of Groups
But LinkedIn also provides platforms to directly create connections, through shared content, through groups that create and organize communities, and through search tools to locate relevant individuals in the field. One of the most compelling features LinkedIn provides is a platform to repost content from elsewhere on the web, with a space for comments and conversation. These posts often take business and industry as their theme, but range over a broad spectrum of specific topics. Because they’re hosted on a professional network, the discussions that take place following these articles tend to significantly more thought-provoking than the general tone of conversation elsewhere on the internet. And because they take place within the platform, a user’s profile will link to recent comments, which highlights not only the topics that interest individual, but also point to his or her specific thoughts on the topic, as well as the quality of his or her participation, writing style, etc. Similar to the posts feature are groups, organized around industries and interests, where users can connect based on shared qualities but in a more general fashion, as well as interact in a more direct, if still exploratory fashion, with others. Content such as articles and job searches can be posted within groups, which range from “English Teachers Anonymous” to “Penn Swimming Alumni.”

Connect with Alumni
More specifically focused are the tools under the “Networks” tab, particularly the “Find Alumni” feature. This tool taps into the immense data that LinkedIn gathers from its users. Based on a user’s listed alma mater, and her connections, both personal and institutional, she might locate key individuals at one or two degrees of separation, and then sort them by alma mater, by industry, by specific skills or even location. Toggling categories yields smaller or larger lists of relevant individuals, whose profiles a user can often access (although not always, depending on the other user’s privacy settings and level of LinkedIn membership).  Based on usage of the resources named earlier—connections, content, groups—these new alumni connections might be present themselves as more or less relevant to my professional interests, and, vice versa, the archive demonstrating a given user’s own interests might bridge a connection between two otherwise distantly connected alums.

At this point, reflection and self-assessment becomes inevitable. A profile is by default visible to others and can shape a more vivid representation of one’s professional interests and qualities than can a resume alone. Through this frame, LinkedIn appears as a useful tool for discerning unique strengths—the combination of networks (connections), skills (endorsements) and knowledge (content). This is relevant to the ABD doctoral candidate in a number of small, but meaningful ways. Generally speaking, it’s a nice refocusing from the intense—and to some degree necessary –tunnel-vision attendant to research and writing. It reminds the doctoral candidate of a wider world and the possibility of other career paths. Specific to my own dissertation, it’s a useful though experiment about the way that media and genres shape personal representation of the individual, but you don’t have to be an doctoral candidate in English Literature to be reminded of the one of the greatest resources of the university—the diverse and intelligent people with which we’re surrounded with here at the University of Pennsylvania and the value of these colleagues to all disciplines.

Ana Schwartz is a PhD candidate in English Literature specializing in genre and seventeenth century American writing. You can check out her common-place blog hosted by tumblr at http://www.m-d102.com.

Organizations Use Social Media To Recruit? Yes.

social-media-resume-36077% of organizations today use social media to recruit. The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), reported this growing trend in a recent survey. So, who are some organizations that partake in “social recruiting”? More publicly-owned organizations are leveraging these tools, like ExxonMobil, Apple, J.P. Morgan Chase. You may have heard of them, and if you’d like to work for them one day, you should consider how their social media presence can be used to your advantage.

At Career Services, we’re here to help take your social media presence beyond liking pictures of friends on Facebook, tweeting sarcastic comments on Twitter and being intimidated, perhaps, by LinkedIn.  If you want to take your social media use to a professional level, see what we have in store for you this year to make that happen:

1) LinkedIn Profile Reviews.  A LinkedIn profile is the new resume.  Just like resume/CV critiques, we’re offering LinkedIn profile critiques on a one-on-one basis. Connect with your school’s team of counselors to set up an appointment.

2) Social Media Workshops. We’re offering special programming to students this year on how to use social media, as well programs through Weigle Information Commons on setting up LinkedIn. Stay tuned for these programs through our various event calendars for grads/postdocs and undergrads.

3) Follow Us on Twitter.  Our main account is @PennCareerServ, but one gem in particular is our @PennCareerJobs account.  Employers who post on PennLink schedule tweets to promote their new listings – don’t miss out!

4) #Hashtags.  If you’re already active on social media, and given Facebook has rolled out use of hashtags, it’s time to put them to professional use.  Look for our hashtags: #penncsevent, #pennOCR. Beyond that, consider #career and #jobtips, as well as following an organization you’re interested in to see what tags they are using. Wondering what is a hashtag? Read this article from Twitter.

There are a LOT of opportunities out there to connect with organizations, learn about their internships and full-time jobs, as well as see if there is a Penn connection – all via social media.  Take advantage of the resources we have available to help you take your social media presence to the next level.

To see more resources, check out our Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Vimeo and Online Networking pages.

by Shannon C. Kelly