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Use LinkedIn To Network & Get Hired

By Jordie Kern @JordieKern

If you’re going to use just one social networking site for your job search, it should be LinkedIn. Understanding this amazing networking tool, and utilizing it to your advantage, is crucial in today’s job market. It’s the most effective way to get your information out there, build a massive network, and connect with hiring managers, human resource directors, and recruiters.

Here are seven tips to help you get the most out of LinkedIn.

1.  Go for quality not quantity.

Don’t pile on the connections just to impress people.  I’d rather you have 75 great connections of people who know you well, then 250 connections of random people you never communicate with.  Connect with classmates from college and high school, relatives, past coworkers from internships, and family friends.  Never connect to strangers…it’s a waste of time.

2.  Write custom invitations.

When recruiting connections, always write a personal note.  It’ll get you noticed.  Don’t use LinkedIn’s standard, canned message.  Remind the person who you are and where you met in your invitation. This personal touch will be especially useful when connecting with 2nd and 3rd degree connections who might not already know you.

3.  Complete your profile

Your profile should be 100% complete.  Write a great title and summary that describes what makes you unique.  Use a smiling headshot in business attire.  Load your resume and identify skills you possess.  Make sure your contact information is public so it’s easy for a recruiter to find you.  And no typos or grammatical mistakes!

4.  Load it with keywords

Employers often recruit new talent by using powerful software programs to quickly search thousands LinkedIn profiles.  For that reason, it’s crucial you make page search-friendly and loaded with industry specific keywords.  A good way to do this is to read job postings for the exact position you want.  Then edit your profile so it includes all the common phrases or buzz words.

5.  Get recommendations

Obtain as many endorsements as you can from former bosses, colleagues, professors, and friends.   People you have worked with you at previous internships or jobs carry the most weight. Think of it like a product review on Amazon.com.  It always helps an employer to see someone else’s perception of you.

6.  Join groups

There are dozens of groups you can join in every conceivable industry.  Hook up with the most popular ones based on the number of members.  Don’t overdo it…three to five groups will do.

7.  Participate in discussions

Make an effort — at least once a week — to join group discussions that interest you. Ask questions that can help you learn more about your target field and maybe even give you an inside track to an opportunity.  It’s important to be visible…you never know who is watching!

Jordie Kern is Co-Founder of 1 Degree Hire.  Click Here for his complete bio, and follow him on Twitter @JordieKern

To access a FREE, 3 Part Video Series from 1 Degree Hire, enter your name and e-mail Here.

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Leverage Your Alumni Network

By Jordie Kern @JordieKern

The quickest way to a job is to build a massive network of people who can help make introductions, provide references, and steer you in the right direction.  95% of all job-seekers get hired as a result of networking, compared to only 5% who get hired after responding to want ads.

One of the first places you should look to develop you network is your college’s alumni.

Most schools provide access to an online directory featuring contact information for all former students including name, email, graduation year, employer, title, hometown, work address, and work phone.  It’s an extremely valuable resource that you should definitely use.

If you can’t get online access, visit or phone your college’s career office.  Most counselors are more than happy to connect you to alumni.  After all, your college has a very strong interest in making sure you get hired quickly — unemployed grads are terrible PR for the school.

You can easily find alumni on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Just remember, once you connect with an alumnus, you goal should be a face-to-face meeting.  If that’s not possible, ask if he would be willing to video chat on Skype.  If not, speak on the phone.  Use email only as a last resort.  Email is impersonal and it’s difficult to build a meaningful relationship with it.

When introducing yourself to an alumnus — and for that matter any other person who you want to help you — avoid saying something like, “Hi. I’m graduating soon and was wondering if you could help me get a job.”  Never say that…it’s bound to fail.  The good news is that almost every one of your competitors will use that approach, so you can easily separate yourself from the pack with a more professional introduction.

Reach out to as many alumni as you can including ones who work in your target field, who live in your target cities, and who hold prestigious jobs. You never know who can help you so don’t discriminate at this early stage.

The strategy I highly recommend is to arrange Informational Interviews.  We have lots of great videos at 1DegreeHire.com that describe why Informational Interviews are so powerful.  If you take this approach, you’ll find that most people will be more than happy to help you.  It makes them feel good knowing that they’re having a positive influence on a recent grad starting his or her career.

The ultimate goal is to get the alumnus to like you so he takes you under his wing.  How do you do that?  By asking for advice and suggestions, taking a genuine interest in his career, showing gratitude, making him feel important and appreciated.

Build your relationship through shared experiences. It’s so important to find that common ground. Discuss classes or professors you might have shared, Greek life, athletics, or even bars you might have attended.   It’s a good idea to Google the alumnus first and dig up any discussion topics you can find from his college days.

I’m partial to an old-fashioned hand-written note that you follow up with a phone call.  Say something like, “I got your name from the co-op office here at UW.  I’m considering a career in web development when I graduate next year and would love an opportunity to speak with you for a few minutes to learn more about your experience working in this industry and hear any suggestions you may have for me.  I can meet you anytime next week that is convenient for you.  Just tell me when and where.  Thank you so much for helping this eager, hard working, and determined college student.  I really appreciate it!  P.S.  Enclosed is an old Daily Cardinal article on the computer science award you won in 1989…I thought you’d get a kick out of seeing it again!”  Now, don’t you feel a note like that is bound to get a positive response?

So reach out to your school’s alumni network and start building your network today.

Jordie Kern is Co-Founder of 1 Degree Hire.  Click Here for his complete bio, and follow him on Twitter @JordieKern

To access a FREE, 3 Part Video Series from 1 Degree Hire, enter your name and e-mail Here.

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Seven Seconds

By Jordie Kern @JordieKern

Seven Seconds.

That’s it.  That’s all the time you can expect a hiring manager will spend reading your resume before he chucks it in the trash or adds it to the “interview” pile.

It just doesn’t seem fair.  You’ve probably spent over $100,000 on your college education, four years of your life, and countless hours interning, yet you have only a few precious seconds to make an impression.

Your Resume Won't Have Much Time To Impress. Make All Seven Seconds count!

Your Resume Won’t Have Much Time To Impress. Make All Seven Seconds count!

Yes, it stinks, but that’s the reality of today’s super competitive job market.  Employers regularly evaluate several hundred resumes for each position…they have to make quick judgment calls in order to filter the massive resume stacks on their desks.

Here are some simple adjustments you can to make to your resume to ensure you make every second you get count!

First, it’s got to be easy on the eyes.  Attractive banner, legible font, ample white space, columns that line up, short bullet descriptions, one page only, no mistakes.

Next, employers will spend about five of the seven seconds reading the most relevant real estate on your page…your “Work Experience” section.

So it’s vital that you have appropriate, real-world internships that have prepared you for working in your chosen industry.

For example, if you want to work in marketing, yet the only job experience on your resume is being a waiter and a life guard, that’s not going to cut it.  You need to include a marketing internship.

The entry-level job market is super competitive and you have to bring your “A-Game.”

Your internship bullet points must demonstrate how you solve problems, improve processes, cut costs, and most importantly, generate revenue.  Use results oriented measurable data, not vague and generic language that says nothing about how you add value.

Make your bullets pop with action verbs like “Generated,” “Expanded,” and “Cut,” not boring language like “Responsible for,” or “Worked at.

Now, if you just haven’t had any appropriate internships to feature on your resume — a common problem for many college students — no worries…it’s never too late to get this experience.

Beefing up your resume right now is vital and the most important thing you can do if you want your seven seconds to result in a job the job interview you deserve.

Jordie Kern is Co-Founder of 1 Degree Hire.  Click Here for his complete bio, and follow him on Twitter @JordieKern

To access a FREE, 3 Part Video Series from 1 Degree Hire, enter your name and e-mail Here.

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Considering An MBA? Wait!

By Jordie Kern @JordieKern

If you’re considering getting your MBA immediately after graduating, I want to give you something to think about before you start applying to schools.

A graduate degree is expensive and a huge time commitment.

My advice…get a job for a year or two before you sink $50,000 or $100,000 into a business degree.

You can always get your MBA after you get your feet wet in the working world.

Here’s why I think this is a smart move:

Once you start working, you may realize that you can advance up the corporate ladder and make the money you want just as easily without an MBA.

You may change your mind and switch careers…it happens all the time.

One of my friends got her MBA and then decided she’d rather teach elementary school…it was an expensive lesson to say the least, and I’m sure she’d love to have those two years of her life back.

You’ll be more focused a few years from now, so if you do decide to go to business school, you’ll work harder and appreciate the opportunity much more.

Plus, you’ll know with more clarity exactly what area of business you want to focus your studies on haven already had a glimpse of what you like and don’t like.

And best of all, if you wait, your employer may pay for it, saving you a ton of money.

If your heart is set on an MBA, check out programs that offer night classes so you can work at the same time…that’s a possible alternative.

Jordie Kern is Co-Founder of 1 Degree Hire.  Click Here for his complete bio, and follow him on Twitter @JordieKern

To access a FREE, 3 Part Video Series from 1 Degree Hire, enter your name and e-mail Here.

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Eat An Elephant One Bite At A Time

By Jason Klein @JasonKlein24

Before starting 1 Degree Hire, I spent seven years working for Steiner Sports, the leader in authentic sports memorabilia.  There, I managed relationships with thousands of athletes, including some of the biggest names in sports. I worked alongside company CEO, Brandon Steiner, perhaps one of the top sales people I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with.  Steiner is a marketing genius, a master at “people-selling,” and has developed business relationships with some of the largest entities in sports today.

He once sat me down in his office and asked me a very important question.  He said, “Jason, how do you eat an elephant?”  Now think about that for a second.  How do you eat an elephant?  How can you possibly eat an animal of that magnitude?

“One bite at a time,” he told me.

Now try to apply that same principle to some other challenges in your life.  Perhaps something as timely as your job search…a huge endeavor for any recent graduate. Try not to get obsessed with the big picture, the elephant, and try to focus on the small bites, the small wins and victories along the way. Take pride in those victories, celebrate when you perfect your resume, when your portfolio is exactly the way you want it. Get excited about the ten connections you made on LinkedIn or the fifteen emails that you sent out applying for different jobs.  All those are great, important steps along the way that will get you the end result you’re looking for.

Keep in mind, long term goal are fantastic but you want to pay attention to the small steps along the way too. Don’t lose sight of those small goals because you’ll end up getting frustrated, overwhelmed by the big picture, and not able to fully digest the challenges that await you.

Stay focus.

Don’t bite off more than you can handle!

Jason Klein is Co-Founder of 1 Degree Hire.  Click Here for his complete bio, and follow him on Twitter @JasonKlein24

To access a FREE, 3 Part Video Series from 1 Degree Hire, enter your name and e-mail Here.

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Don’t Be An Unemployed Job-Seeker!

By Jordie Kern @JordieKern

One of the biggest mistakes I feel you can make when looking for work is being a full time unemployed job seeker.

It can be depressing and discouraging for you when that’s the only thing you’re doing.

Plus, focusing your entire day on finding a job makes you look undesirable to employers.

Some may form negative opinions about you because you are not doing anything productive during your search.

Anytime I interview a kid who hasn’t worked since college graduation and he’s a full-time job seeker, I immediately think, “What’s wrong with him?  Why hasn’t anyone hired him yet?”

So here are 3 ways I recommend you spend your time during this transition period to make yourself much more marketable.

1. Intern at a company in your chosen industry

2. Volunteer at a local non profit organization for a cause that’s important to you

3. Start your own business that does not require financial risk.

Keep in mind that you may not get paid, but you’re not making anything now anyway.

IT’s much more important for you to invest in yourself, build your skills, meet new people, and accumulate work experiences that you can discuss in your interviews.

Believe it or not, being a part-time — and not a full-time — job hunter will actually give you a much better opportunity to land a great job.

Jordie Kern is Co-Founder of 1 Degree Hire.  Click Here for his complete bio, and follow him on Twitter @JordieKern

To access a FREE, 3 Part Video Series from 1 Degree Hire, enter your name and e-mail Here.

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Ready To Battle Job Market, Retired Vets Storm Citi Field

By Jason Klein @JasonKlein24

As Seen on Patch.com

They served us.

Last Friday, it was our turn to proudly serve them.

Members of our 1 Degree Hire team headed out to Citi Field to “meet the Vets” at the Employment-Education-Resource Expo.  There, hundreds of our bravest retired Veterans were confronted with a new kind of combat – the battle for employment.  Over the course of the five-hour event, our retired service members had the opportunity to speak with recruiters from over 150 companies in a job fair-like setting.  They were welcomed with open arms and introduced to new career opportunities as they prepared to transition back into society.

1 Degree Hire Co-Founder, Jason Klein, at Citi Field.

1 Degree Hire Co-Founder, Jason Klein, at Citi Field.

Organized by Be A Hero-Hire A Hero of West Nyack, NY, Veterans in attendance traded in their camouflage for business suits, thanks to The Save-A-Suit Foundation, an organization that regularly donates professional attire to vets as they search for civilian work.  There were also make-up artists, stylists and hairdressers on location to ensure each job-seeker looked the part.

Our 1 Degree Hire staff made the pilgrimage to Flushing to help prepare our nation’s heroes for the difficult and confusing new journey that awaits them.  Through a series of seminars, one-on-one coaching sessions, and informational handouts, we were able to educate and put our Veterans in a better position to succeed with their individual job searches.

A select group of service men and women who attended the seminars were also invited to become complimentary 1 Degree Hire members – gaining free access to 1DegreeHire.com, our Video Vault, 21-Day Course, and personal one-on-one coaching sessions until they get hired.

“I’m really looking forward to working with the 1 Degree Hire staff,” said Norman Laracuente, a Marine Corps Veteran in attendance.  “I appreciate the workshops, found them very informative, am really excited to be selected to take part in the program and ultimately, get hired!”

1 Degree Hire is happy to help.

Proud to serve too.

Jason Klein is Co-Founder of 1 Degree Hire, a Westchester-based resource for future college graduates and first-time job seekers.  Visit 1DegreeHire.com to qualify for a Free Membership today! Follow @JasonKlein24 on Twitter.

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