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“Want to chat over a cup of coffee?” How to start the conversation and build your network!

Posted By Sara Swezy, GAIN Intern, Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Check out this article for networking advice and examples. We’ve highlighted the most important steps for establishing and expanding your network!

Establish:
-Let everyone know that you are looking for a job! Including family, friends, neighbors, college alumni, etc. Ask if they know anyone in your desired field.
-Politely ask if you can have their contact information or if they will introduce you.

Expand:
-After the introductions, arrange to meet for half an hour for an informational interview over coffee or lunch, or possibly stop by their office.
-When you meet, do not ask them for a job! You are there to get advice, learn about their experiences and make more connections.
-Explain your career goals and what kind of position you are looking for.
-Ask if they can suggest anyone else for you to meet with… usually they will give you a couple contacts.
-After your informational interview, be sure to thank them by email or a handwritten note.
-Don’t forget to follow up- keep them updated on your job search and let them know you met with the people they suggested.

Online- LinkedIn:
-The process is slightly different, but check out this article from Career Builder and you’ll be on your way to establishing a large network!


For more networking advice, you can still purchase our Networking for a Job webinar online here!

Tags:  career advice  career development  informational interview  job seeking  Networking 

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Cover Letters and Resumes- Did you make these mistakes?

Posted By Sara Swezy, GAIN Intern, Tuesday, February 7, 2012

You’re applying for a job online and are directed to send your resume and cover letter by email to the HR staff. Seems easy enough, right? Before you hit send, be sure you know what NOT to do when writing cover letters and resumes.

Check out New Grad Life articles for advice on cover letters and resumes! This is a breakdown of the most important points to remember.

Cover Letters

-If you only attach your cover letter to the email, it might not go through or even get opened. Be sure to paste it within the body of the email as well.
-Providing information that doesn’t match with the position- Read the description and qualifications clearly. You will not be selected if your qualifications and skills in the cover letter do not match with their needs.
-Forgetting to express why you’re the best- Don’t be arrogant, but let them know why your experience and qualifications make you the perfect person for the job.

Biggest Mistakes on Resumes:

-Formatting and organization
-Unimpressive job descriptions
-Spelling and grammar

Don’t fall into the common mistakes category:

-Always have multiple people proof read and edit for you
-Don’t always rely on spell-check
-Keep it to one classic font
-Organize with bullet points
-Use action verbs and quantify your experiences

For more resume tips, check out our blog on federal resumes!

Tags:  career advice  career development  cover letters  get a job  resume advice 

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How to Use Social Media to Find a Job

Posted By Sara Swezy, GAIN Intern, Monday, February 6, 2012

Love spending time on social media websites? They might just land you a job. But you have to know how to use them in the right way.

Check out this helpful article from Social Media Examiner:

Highlights from the article 10 Tips for Finding a Job Using Facebook and LinkedIn:

-Did you know you can use Facebook as a business page? Set up your own page to show your professional accomplishments and create a brand for yourself.

-Are you on LinkedIn? If you are a job seeker, a LinkedIn profile is essential. Once your LinkedIn profile is set up, be sure to have a professional headline that stands out amongst other applicants. If you’re looking to connect with someone in a certain industry or with a specific job title, use the advanced people search tool to find them.

In the 2012 digital world, your online presence is something that could get you hired or fired. Read the rest of the top 10 tips and establish your own professional brand online. Check back on our blog for upcoming career development advice! If you don’t already, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Tags:  career advice  career development  Facebook  get a job  job seeking  LinkedIn  social media 

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Remember to avoid these top ten mistakes on your federal resume!

Posted By Sara Swezy, GAIN Intern, Tuesday, January 24, 2012
For all you job seekers, check out this helpful article:

FedSmith: Top 10 Common Pitfalls In Your Federal Resume


Make sure to avoid these common mistakes on your resume. Remember, when applying for jobs, especially online- your resume is the first impression employers will see. You want it to reflect your skills and abilities in an impressive way.  

#2 Weak presentation of your accomplishments: If your accomplishments are hiding in a long paragraph or surrounded with unnecessary information, you won’t get an interview. Make sure your accomplishments stand out in distinct paragraphs and use engaging action verbs.  

#4 Keywords are missing: Most HR professionals receive hundreds of resumes and are looking for a specific skill set. Don’t use the same version of your resume for every job application. Make sure your resume matches the keywords in the job announcement and satisfies what the employers look for in the ideal candidate.  

Don’t forget, if you weren’t able to attend our resume workshop last week, you can still register to get a copy of the webinar online. It’s full of helpful tips and expert advice from those in the industry.

Tags:  career advice  learn from pros  resume advice 

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Hey Interns!

Posted By Genna Schwartz, GAIN Intern, Friday, July 29, 2011

Hey interns!

Ready to get paid, or at least get paid more? GAIN understands that going from an internship to a career in politics can be difficult, and we’re here to help!

We’re bringing you Courtney Sieloff with Revolution Messaging, and the founder of JobsThatAreLEFT, as well as Tom Manatos with the DNC and founder of his own self-titled listserv! These two will have tons of valuable advice about how to succeed in politics, you won’t want to miss!

We will also be discussing how to get your political resume absolutely perfect, and how to write a remarkable cover letter. As well as how to get the most out of your current internship, networking, and what your next steps should be.

We hope to see you there - Register here!

Tags:  career advice  career development  events  get a job  job seeking  networking  training 

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Next Week's Must Do Training!

Posted By GAIN STAFF, Friday, June 24, 2011
It's been great getting so many resumes from GAIN members across the country the last few weeks. We're hoping to add to the list of places we're going to and get to as many cities as possible in the next few months to collect even more resumes from all of you that are interested in working on a campaign!

But before you drop your resume off with us, or even after you do, you should make sure it's in the best shape it can be.

Sign up for Tuesday's Resume & Job Search workshop!

We'll have a ton of great advice on how to do a political resume, how to write a cover letter that sticks out and where and when you'll find the jobs this cycle.

Tuesday's workshop is in person and via webinar - and we record it so you can watch it at any time that works for you! This is a must attend for anyone who's giving out the resume for a job in politics. We have just two more in person slots left - sign up today!

Tags:  career advice  career development  events  job seeking  job tips  resume advice 

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Come See GAIN in San Francisco!

Posted By Genna Schwartz, GAIN Intern, Monday, June 20, 2011
Come on out and see Democratic GAIN in San Francisco this Thursday, June 23rd for a resume drop!

If you are curious about what kinds of campaign jobs are hiring for this year or next, this event is the perfect place for you to get your questions answered. Take advantage of the opportunity of getting your resume into the right hands.

GAIN's former Executive Director, Alexandra Acker Lyons, who just moved to California, will be there to collect resumes! Stop by, drop off your resume, talk to someone who really knows what’s going on in the world of progressive politics!

Tags:  california  career advice  get a job  networking  resume advice  resume drop 

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What Does Your Online Profile Say About You?

Posted By Alexandra Acker Lyons, Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Whether you like it or not, your online persona is also your professional persona -- are you OK with that?

You might want to de-tag that keg stand photo, take down the "I'm so bored -- is it 5:00 yet" tweet, and carefully edit your college blog posts.  Oh, and just because we're not "friends" on Facebook, doesn't mean I'm not going to see those photos and posts!  Politics is a small world and I'm friends with your friends.

Here are some tips from 6FigureJobs:

A candidate’s online reputation plays a vital role when being considered for a new job opportunity. Studies show that 80% of employers and executive recruiters will search a candidate’s online reputation before contacting them for an interview. Any active or passive job seeker should be aware of their online reputation before they hit the job market.

In July 2010, 6FigureJobs conducted a survey to its community of $100K executive and senior-level job seekers. The survey showed that 60% of candidates are already monitoring their reputation online and of those people 29% consider themselves "very involved” in managing their online reputation. The poll also showed that 28% do not manage their online reputation because they do not know how or believe it to be of no use, feeling they can not control what the Web publishes.

For the 12% who say they do not know what an online reputation is…start with these 3 basic steps.

1. Search – Run a search for your name in all the major search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo!). Review the results in detail. You may find many positive results or you may be surprised at some of the negative, "digital dirt” that it associated with your name. Know what’s out there because this is your online reputation and it is how people will perceive you.

2. Monitor – You can create email alerts for your name through the search engines. Google Alerts does a good job of this. They will send you an email with the latest information posted to the Internet that is associated with your name. This will help you monitor any new content that gets published on the Web that is associated with your name.

3. Take Action – Build on the positive information through professional online profiles, personal websites, publications and discussion boards. Negative results can be difficult to combat so if you find a significant amount of negative results, contact a professional service such as Climber or Reputation Defender.

In conclusion, it is important to stay on top of your online reputation. Your candidacy for a new career role is an online and offline process so keep in mind that you may be judged before you even step into an interview.

Tags:  advice  career advice  employers  get a job  job advice  job search 

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Get Linked!

Posted By Jaren Love, GAIN Intern, Monday, April 12, 2010
Today, it seems like everyone is using social networking websites! Most think of these sites as mindless distractions or just a way to keep up with old friends. However, you might not realize that these sites can help you land a job.  

The Boston Globe recently did a short piece that gives advice to job searchers on using social networks such as LinkedIn. LinkedIn, a website for professional and career networking, is a free and easy way to reach out to past colleagues and network with others in your field.  

You can read the full article here.

The best approach to LinkedIn is thinking of it as an enhanced digital resume. The site allows you to join groups relevant to progressive politics or alumni groups to take networking to the next level. Additionally, it allows you to add a little extra detail to what you accomplished at past positions and a professional looking photograph to put a face to a name. A professional presence on the web that clearly articulates your skills and talents can be a crucial next step in landing the job of your dreams.

Tags:  career advice  job search  networking  website 

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The Art of Salary Negotiations

Posted By GAIN STAFF, Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Raise your hand if you hate salary negotiations!

Most of us dread negotiating salaries, benefits, raises and promotions. But we all know it's an important part of everyone's career. That's why Democratic GAIN is hosting a training on the art of salary negotiation and asking for that promotion.

In these economic times it can be more difficult to ask for, and secure a raise or promotion, but there are still tricks of the trade, and things to know that can make you more confident and successful in your negotiation. This is your chance to learn from political professionals who have been on both sides of the negotiating table.  

This is perfect for anyone who would like to be more successful and confident in salary negotiation with their next job offer, or when they are up for a review in their current job.  

Speakers include:
Katharine Gagne, Managing Director at the United Mine Workers of America Health & Retirement Funds
Simone Ward, Campaign Manager for Senator Barbara Mikulski  

Space is limited.

Register today! 

Tags:  advice  career advice  interview advice  job search  skills building  training 

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