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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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Union Summer!

Posted By Alexandra Acker Lyons, Wednesday, May 5, 2010
The AFL-CIO is very excited to announce that Union Summer will return for 2010!  Since 1996, Union Summer has graduated over 3000 activists, many of whom continue to work in the labor movement. Union Summer will be looking to recruit and place student activists from colleges and universities across the country to take the fight for justice into the streets in support of our campaign to win good jobs!
 
Union Summer is a ten week educational internship in which participants are introduced to the labor movement.  The Union Summer Internship will run from June 7th through August 13th.  It will begin with a weeklong orientation and training, which will be held in Washington, D.C. June 7-June 13.  After the training, interns will work in teams in support of the AFL-CIO’s Jobs Campaign in various parts of the country; there will also be classroom instruction on matters related to their activities.  Their activities could include assisting in organizing direct actions such as marches and rallies, talking with workers impacted by the jobs crisis, as well as assisting in building community, labor and religious support for the Campaign.  Interns will play an important role in helping to build support for our top priority - making sure that everyone that wants a job can get one. Participation in Union Summer is also an ideal way for people to learn about unions and our work in the community.
 
Union Summer is looking to recruit students with a strong commitment to social and economic justice as and openness to working with people of various races, ethnicities, sexual and religious orientations. Participants should be enthusiastic, energetic and flexible to working long and irregular hours.  We are accepting applications from rising juniors and seniors as well as graduating seniors.  Women and People of Color are strongly encouraged to apply.
 
Participants will receive a stipend of $300 per week (minus taxes) to cover meals and other incidental expenses.  Each intern will be responsible to getting to and from their orientation training.  After the weeklong orientation, Union Summer will cover the costs of transportation to their internship site.  Housing and local transportation costs will be provided by the host site.

Union Summer is a competitive internship and will have a limited number of available positions this year.  Please encourage all interested students to apply soon.
 
Interested students should complete the application and return it to unionsummer@aflcio.org.  The application deadline is May 7, 2010.  For more information, students should contact us at 1.888.835.8557 or visit us at www.unionsummer.aflcio.org.

Tags:  employers  get a job  internship  job search  organizing 

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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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Breaking Into Communications

Posted By GAIN STAFF, Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Join Democratic GAIN for a workshop on Breaking Into Communications this Friday, April 2nd at 12 PM!

Whether you want to work on the Hill, a campaign, for a labor union, or for a non-profit issue advocacy organization, Breaking Into Communications will cover the basics of working with the press, creating a message, finding communications jobs and preparing your resume & materials to get the job.

This is perfect for anyone who’s thinking about exploring communications or for anyone who’s still trying to nab that press assistant position on the Hill. We'll give you an overview of the basics of communications as well as advice & tips from the professionals to get your foot in the door. 

Trainers include:
Korey Hartwich with AFSCME
Jessica Smith with Senator Jim Webb
Kombiz Lavasany with New Partners

Details: What: Breaking Into Communications Workshop
When: Friday, April 2nd from 12 PM to 1:30 PM
Where: GAIN Office - 1850 M Street NW, Suite 1100 (11th Fl) DC
Register: http://www.democraticgain.org/events/event_details.asp?id=99296
Questions?: Info@democraticgain.org

Tags:  career advice  job advice  job search  training  workshop 

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10 Resume Red Flags

Posted By Alexandra Acker Lyons, Monday, March 1, 2010
Here are some great resume tips from Yahoo! Finance.  One thing to consider -- an objective can be helpful for those just starting out or career switchers.  Make sure it's not too broad or general though.

Tags:  career advice  career development  job search  job seeking  resume advice  resume drop  resumes 

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Tips for Career Fair Attendees

Posted By Alexandra Acker Lyons, Thursday, January 7, 2010
Democratic GAIN's Career Fair is just two weeks away!

Don't waste time -- here are some tips for how you can put your best face forward and impress employers!
  1. Update your profile and upload your resume on the GAIN website.  Often, employers will search the site for candidates who fit their criteria rather than posting the job publicly (or they'll do both!)
  2. Attend GAIN's resume workshop on Wednesday, January 20th.  
  3. Can't attend or won't be in DC?  Check out our resume tips.
  4. Be sure to attend GAIN's Networking Happy Hour on Thursday, January 21st.  If you're already registered for the Career Fair, you don't need to register for the Happy Hour.
  5. If you're unemployed, print up some business cards at home to pass out as you network.
  6. Do your homework!  We're updating our list of confirmed employers every day -- if you're not familiar with the organization, check out their website and see if they have posted current openings.
Be sure to bring plenty of copies of your updated resume with you to the Career Fair!

Tags:  career advice  career fair  job advice  job search  job seeking 

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Using the Holidays for Networking

Posted By Alexandra Acker Lyons, Monday, November 30, 2009
The holidays can be a depressing time to be a job seeker, as employers tend not to post jobs between Thanksgiving and the New Year.  Don't get too down though -- this is a terrific time to network and expand your list of contacts.

Holiday parties aren't just for fruit cake and cocktails; they are for collecting business cards.  Ask around about any upcoming events that are open to non-employees and GO!  Come armed with business cards (make your own at home if you're not currently employed) and pass them out like it's your job -- 'cause it is!  When you receive someone's business card, be sure to write down where you met them and anything noteworthy that you discussed.  Ask if you can send a follow up email or take them to coffee in the near future.

Don't be embarrassed about being unemployed or looking for a job -- we've all been there and chances are, people are more than happy to help.  Tell one and all what you are looking to do next.  Make sure you have your sales pitch down; nothing is more important than selling yourself!  Be as specific as possible.  For instance, saying, I want to work in development for an advocacy organization will give people a lot more to work with than just saying, I want to get in to fundraising.

Finally, use holiday cards to your advantage.  They are a great way to stay in touch with old contacts and to keep your name on the forefront of someone's mind.  A simple, "Hope to see you in the New Year" will suffice for getting back in touch.

Tags:  career advice  career development  get a job  job advice  job search  job seeking  networking  networking event 

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What You've Done, Not Where You've Worked

Posted By Seth Tanner, Monday, March 23, 2009

One of the things I do, and I recommend people do as much as they can, is to help friends find jobs. It helps create loyalty, backchannels into other organizations, and promotes yourself as a person who can be “helpful” to people in need. You never know when the shoe will be on the other foot. And it’s a nice thing to do.

One of the largest issues I’ve seen when people send me a resume, or talk about why they should be at X or Y job is a focus on where they have worked, rather than what they have done. A clear and public example can be seen in Rahaf Harfoush, who worked on the Obama new media team for a few months. That detail was included in her bio along with previous social media research work to create a bio that lead her to be promoted as an Obama strategist at schools and other institutes she worked on. In the New Republic, details of her involvement in the campaign leaked out. What did she actually do for the campaign?

For the last three months of the campaign, "The Foush" was an unpaid volunteer at the Obama headquarters in Chicago, where her regular duties essentially involved approving mybarackobama.com comments and groups. There were two to three dozen people doing similar work, but she was somewhat unique in that she had a background in social media.

So. Member of Obama New Media Team. Intern-level site moderator.

Personally, I’ve seen other resumes and had other conversations with people new to DC who have a false expectation that people will hire based on where they worked, and not what they’ve done. When looking at a resume, and evaluating your previous experiences, here is some of what I would look at and emphasize:

  • District size of your campaign (or at least the part of the campaign you were assigned to manage).
  • Number of staff reporting to you.
  • Budget you were responsible for spending and/or raising.
  • Your responsibilities (not department or principle responsibilities).
  • Measured results (raised X money, recruited X volunteers, contacted X voters X times, etc).

If you keep these concepts in mind, you will have a much better idea where in the world you are. If you want an example, take a look at my resume and see how the bullets talk, not the organizations I've worked for.

Many people this year will be working in New Jersey and Virginia for their odd-year elections, and will add to their resume by doing higher level stuff for lower level candidates. If you think you need to work on doing higher level stuff, working on the lower level campaigns a good way to set yourself up to do higher level stuff for higher level candidates in 2010.

Tags:  expectations  job search  resumes 

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