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How up-to-date is your LinkedIn profile with your resume?

As a recruiter, especially in the social media and digital field, I always check every social channel of a potential employee. It’s a habit, something that has become part of my routine since starting in recruitment 6 or 7 years ago. Employers do it, we recruiters do it too and one of the first places we check is LinkedIn. The only source that gives us the perfect insight to compare a job-seekers resume to their LinkedIn profile.

It doesn’t matter how active you may be on LinkedIn, heck you might not even use it that often, but it is a good idea to keep it updated during your job search, because like me, employers check for all the nitty gritty bits of info and anything that sticks out like a sore thumb, gets my goat.

So what do we check for?

The 2 most important points for checking LinkedIn for me are:

Summary/Bio

For some unknown reason, most job seekers see this as a box to be ignored. Why? This is your moment to shine and tell us lucky folk who you are, what you do, what you’re looking for and most importantly what you can do for us. If you love what you do, why not share it. If you have something to bring to the table, share. Your summary/bio should stand out, if you have an interesting bio, I am more than ready to jump on the phone and give you a call.  Need some inspiration to writing that summary, have a look at these great examples.

Employment

This is where most job seekers fall short. You may have an outstanding resume, that’s great but does it match your employment history on your LinkedIn profile? No, why not? Your employment history (companies & job titles over a period of time) is super important. I don’t necessarily want to see a fully detailed employment log, but the dates, employers and job times are pretty important and should mirror what’s on your CV. If this doesn’t – red flags!

Two other things to keep on top of…

A lot of recruiters and employers will check a few other parts of your LinkedIn profile to make sure they’re making the right decision before they get in touch. I’m not saying every recruiter/employer does it, everyone is different but here are some other things they look at in a LinkedIn Profile:

Recommendations

I believe endorsements are pretty pointless, therefore I won’t be adding this into this point to be regarded as a ‘recommendation.’ Employers want to verify a job-seekers lever of expertise and may very well scroll down to your recommendations to see what people say about your skills and talents. Recommendations are LinkedIn’s answer to references in this digital age, so if you have done a great job at a company or with a client, ask for a recommendation, it doesn’t cost anything and it shows off how good you are to prospective employers.

Education

I still firmly believe in social media and digital that you don’t need a degree to get into this industry but if you’re going into a skilled industry, this is an important area that you need to update. If you have a diploma, degree or certification that is necessary to an application put it up there.

Active jobseekers should use their LinkedIn to really showcase their talents and what better way than using a platform that everyone who is anyone uses. Get smart and use LinkedIn to the best of your advantage.

This post was originally posted on Urbanvox.

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Being ill sucks

How I’m feeling at the moment.

Random Ramblings Of Me Dingo

I hate being sick. I have been roughly ill 6 times this year and it seems that I’m not the only one that has been contracting just about anything that has shown its face and made us ill. I am currently wrapped up, like a fig roll, in PJ’s, covered by a cardigan, wrapped in a fleece and doused in a duvet, in my bedroom, with my teddy nearby, copious amounts of glasses of squash by bed, floor swamped with ibuprofen and paracetamol, with my laptop perched on my lap for good measure, whilst trying to see the screen – I know it’s a glasses wearing moment, but my face feels puffy and wearing them makes me feel like Domo, except less cute and dog like.

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Excuse the image of my rather unfortunate sad looking face, but trying to manage a smile, when I feel like dog shit, is a really…

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My faith in humanity has been restored – Company offers free sand to flooded towns

ADL Grab Hire based in Ascot have set up a Facebook page broadcasting to anyone within 10 miles of Windsor, can have up to 16 tonnes of sand delivered to their area, in this hard time of the flooding. With so many villages, towns and areas complaining that the government and local authorities are doing little to help this time in crisis, this act of kindness wins my vote.
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ADL Grab Hire actually specialises in the removal of Waste, Bulk Excavation Work and supply of new and recycled aggregates, but since joining social network Facebook last month, they have been most promoting their good will, telling people they have loose reject sand, available for you for free, for anyone living within 10 miles of Windsor.
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This incredible act of kindness, puts most of the help from the government to shame, where most MPs are ‘helping’ by standing around in their designer wellies, giving interviews and really not doing very much else. Even though the army are in helping areas in needs, down in Surrey, not much is being done, leaving a fair few upset, annoyed and very much pissed off.
Currently the Facebook page has 96 fans, but with the many shares, likes and interactions they will get their message across.
If you know anyone who lives within 10 miles of Windsor and needs help, who would like tonne-bags to help keep their homes protected, please do ‘like’ this page and help spread the word.
Write a message on their FB wall. They are also aiming to get to Staines, Shepperton and more very shortly:

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Recruiters please take note

For anyone who is in recruitment and wants to headhunt someone, here’s some rules..

1) Actually READ that person’s CV PROPERLY. You have eyes in your head, use them.
2) Don’t brief a person for something they clearly do not want to do.
3) Ramble. We’re not here to listen to your constant blabber – get to the point or get off my phone line.
4) Get arssy when they say, they’re not looking for a new job.
5) Insist on getting hold of that person’s contacts. I don’t know you, therefore I won’t pass on the details of my friends.
6) Insist your ‘refer a friend’ is better than anyone elses… a few beers won’t make you my new best friend.

Some recruiters really baffle me.

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Should companies reimburse candidates for travel expenses?

You’ve got the interview. The interview you’ve been waiting to hear back all week. The excitement and nerves are all slowly kicking into place, now all you have to do is figure out how to get there. You could drive, but that would be madness.The problem; you’re in another city and your interview is at 9am in London the day after tomorrow. Don’t panic. Keep telling yourself you will be able to sort this. You turn on your laptop, open up a new tab on Google and search for tickets on Thetrainline.com – up come the results. Sh*t. Look at the fares. It’s going to cost you more to get down there and back than your monthly Tesco run. What on earth are you going to do now?

It’s a question many candidates face when they get the interview for the job they want. Should companies reimburse candidates for travel expenses? 

I think they should.

Yes. I think a company should reimburse you if you’re travelling from a certain distance. If a candidate is attending an interview in say, London but they live in Manchester for example and their interview is scheduled for 9am, it will cost the candidate an average of £154 one way. Some employers can make it very difficult for candidates if they are far away. If they’re not willing to do a Skype interview, the chances of bagging a job is limited. I know it ranges from company to company, generally being the bigger the corporation the more likely they are flexible on their policies but I think this is a policy that all companies should have installed.

Usually the bigger organisations will be more open to honouring expense claims, especially when it comes to graduates – most graduates don’t have a spare couple of pounds, let alone hundreds of pounds, to spend attending interviews, while for the company, travel expenses could be a small price to pay if it means attracting the right calibre of candidate. Deloitte, for example, have a generous reimbursement scheme for graduates attending interviews, of up to £100 a time. The company says that interview times are flexible and candidates are given plenty of notice so they can arrange to have an interview when it’s a more convenient (read cheaper) time to travel.

‘But that doesn’t help me, if I’m no longer a graduate.’ 

Good point, I say. Jonathan Fagan, MD of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment says:

The standard practice regarding interview costs is for the candidate to bear them and it is increasingly rare for a firm to pay them. However if you don’t ask, you don’t get!

Some companies may very well consider it should you approach them regarding travel costs. High street chemist and British shop favourite Boots say, they will ‘take into consideration any significant travel costs of an interviewee with regards to reimbursement, if requested to do so.’ The BBC says that ‘the hiring department should offer reasonable travel expenses (in line with the BBC Expenses Policy) to employees invited to attend a selection process. External candidates may also be eligible to claim reasonable travel expenses, depending on individual circumstances. Payment is at the discretion of the hiring department and must be approved in advance’. British supermarket giant, Waitrose states: ‘Our policy on travel reimbursement varies across our business and we will always look to consider the individual concerns of each candidate when inviting them to interview. Where candidates are invited to a second interview, we will normally reimburse their travel costs’.

I asked the question across LinkedIn and Facebook and have had a fair bit of different views. One person on LinkedIn said:

No, I don’t think they should. I think the feeling of entitlement is a barrier to some candidates employment if anything. I would claim for expenses if I were doing something actively that has some sort of ROI for the company- Client entertainment, travelling to a meeting, etc.

If it were for a senior international role then I think there could be a degree of flexibility on this, especially as preliminary interviews would have been conducted through Skype etc.

Another said:

Interesting question. As a job seeker, I’d say absolutely! Of course, my answer might be a little biased. Some kind of reimbursement is okay depending on the situation and feasibility of it. In one of my previous job interviews, I had to park in a parking garage for about an hour. The company gave me parking validations so I wouldn’t have to pay out of pocket.

However, if you think about college and university applications, you don’t get reimbursed for the application fees even if you don’t get in. I’d think of it that way. It’s a sunk cost. Besides, you’re still gaining something from every interview you go on: experience.

What do you think…should companies reimburse candidates for travel expenses?

[Source: Jobsite]

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10 Worst Excuses For Taking A Day Off Sick

When you were at school and your teacher asked where your homework was, did you throw in the odd excuse that your dog ate your homework? Since we were kids, people all over the world have become more and more creative about the excuses we give for anything from homework to being late for work or calling in sick. In CareerBuilder’s survey “Out of the Office,” more than one-third of U.S. workers say they played hooky from work over the last twelve months. Thirty-five percent of workers admit to calling in sick when they felt well at least once during the last year, and one-in-ten say they did so three or more times.

Why are they calling in sick? The top three motivators for faking include attending to personal errands and appointments, catching up on sleep and simply relaxing. The reasons also include attending a child’s event, bad weather, making plans with friends and going on a job interview.

“Truth can be stranger than fiction,” Jennifer Grasz, the CareerBuilder spokesperson who ran the study, told The Huffington Post. “Sometimes the outrageous happens. Whether your employer believes you will depend heavily on your track record and performance with the company.”

The online survey conducted by Harris Interactive found just how loosely the term “sick day” is being used in the workplace. According to the approximately 6,500 hiring managers, HR professionals and workers surveyed, 34 percent of employees who call in sick just don’t feel like going into work, 29 percent feel like they needed to relax, 22 percent have a doctor’s appointment, 16 percent want to catch up on sleep and 15 percent need to run errands.

Although some companies might let a few days slide, most employers don’t let their staff get away with it. have fired employees for calling in with a fake excuse.”If an employer catches you lying, it can put your professionalism and reliability into question,” Grasz said. “Your best bet is to be honest.”

Here are the top excuses for calling in sick:

  1. Suffering from a broken heart
  2. Getting sick after reading too much
  3. Becoming too ‘upset’ after watching the hunger games
  4. Bitten by a bird
  5. Getting a toe stuck in the tap
  6. A grandmother being exhumed for police investigation
  7. Saying your dog was having a nervous breakdown
  8. Forgetting you’ve been hired
  9. Hair turning orange after home dying went wrong
  10. Sobriety tool wouldn’t let the car start

What are the worst excuses you’ve heard from colleagues, staff or others throughout the years? I would love to hear them…