The importance of keywords

The importance of keywords

The first step is to think about the kind of job you are targeting. If you have an actual job description for a specific opportunity – web developer, for example – read it carefully and highlight the words that you see in the job description. If you don’t have a job description, try pulling up some current IT job postings with similar job titles online and see what words are being used in those IT job descriptions.

Using web developer as an example, you will likely find terms such as mobile applications, user interface, .NET and HTML come up multiple times. These are the words you should include in your resume, assuming you have that experience. Software and technology competencies are particularly important and worth repeating in different sections of your IT resume.

Get specific IT job descriptions by downloading the Robert Half Technology Salary Guide.

Think like an IT hiring manager

Also keep in mind that hiring managers typically use nouns when running searches. For example, they might use “management experience” rather than “experience managing.”

Of course, when it comes to IT resume keywords, it’s everything in moderation. You don’t want to get carried away by over-using them – especially if the keywords you’re including are misleading or are unrepresentative of your experience and qualifications. While using the right keywords might get you past the tracking software, a hiring manager will not be impressed by an IT resume that’s been overstuffed to the point that it no longer reads clearly, logically or honestly.

Keep your IT resume focused on your qualifications, specialized skills and accomplishments, using keywords strategically throughout the document. These easy guidelines will help land your resume at the top of the pile and get your foot in the door for the all-important interview.

More Than Just An SEO Tool

More Than Just An SEO Tool

Last year Guest Blogging was the buzzword in SEO. Since Google made the algorithm change, forcing SEOs to look for unique and relevant content to aid their ranking efforts, so-called professional guest bloggers arrived in droves and every SEO agency started offering guest posts, content exchanges, blogger outreach (and any other way of putting it) as an additional link building exercise.

As a blogger myself, I have no trouble with people making a living from writing and I embrace the changes imposed by Google to ensure content on the web is of a high standard, is unique and is relevant. I understand that for SEOs to acquire natural links, they need to start thinking outside of the box. However, that out of the box thinking seems to have gone amiss with guest blogging, there’s serial misuse of the practice across the web, and this general bad practice amongst SEOs (who’re still trying to con the search engines and have now taken to practising not only black-hat SEO but have extended their reach to content as well) is now impacting brand reputation.

For the purpose of this blog, I’m going to avoid getting into the link building debate, yes we understand that guest blogging for SEO is born out of getting a portfolio of backlinks, but as a Content Marketer, there’s far more benefit than just a link.

For a marketer, guest blogging provides a unique way to extend the reach of their business, build advocates for the brand and showcase their knowledge. Content exchanges have been commonplace for years now, mainly between high profile professionals who wanted to provide their audience with new content from a respected source. However, with SEOs utilising it as a mass link building exercise, things can and are going wrong.

Tell Me About Yourself

Tell Me About Yourself

You freeze, and then you think for a moment. If you’re a new graduate, it’s likely that there are any millions of things you could speak about, from your collection of baseball cards to the used car you’ve inherited from your parents.

Don’t get sweaty palms – we’ve got you covered.

What the Question Really Means

In reality, your interviewer might really like baseball cards and old cars, but in this situation, they are neither interested in those (at least for now), nor do they really care. The question is not as much a gauge on who you are as an individual like what you’d find in a dating profile, but rather an indication of how you describe yourself. Essentially, it’s the elevator pitch.

If you’ve forgotten what an elevator pitch is, we’ll remind you: It’s the amount of time it takes to introduce yourself succinctly to anyone in an elevator before either of you have to get off. It’s short, brief, and very much to the point.

Your baseball cards can be saved for the new-hire lunch.

How to Tackle the Question

Tackling this question comes down to a few key things:

  1. You know who you are
  2. You know what the job is
  3. You know why you’re here

The first and last bullet points are topics we’ll cover in future posts as they require longer explanations, but the second assumes you’ve done your homework and know what the job is. If you’re a senior marketing manager or a junior graphic designer, you’ll have lifted enough from the job description to adequately answer this question with a mixture of your own identity as well as your presence.

Here are some quick tips.

  1. DO NOT mention your name to start: We’re all inspired to say “Hello, my name is…” but the interviewer knows your name already. Lead with your intentions. For example, “I am a consumer marketing analyst…”
  2. DO NOT be overly detailed: Like we mentioned earlier, your interest in baseball cards is not relevant here, unless of course, you’re interviewing at a company that makes baseball cards. Hobbies are irrelevant in the interview process for the most part (and can be a question for later, which we’ll cover).
  3. DO state a background highlight: So you’re a sales whiz who helped your last company increase the bottom line by 52%? Great! Helped your company save $4.2 million dollars last fiscal year? Amazing. Find a way to word that into your statement after identifying who you are.
  4. DO state your intentions: You’re obviously sitting across from the interviewer looking for a new job, but what are the real reasons? What are your goals? What do you want to learn? Why do you want to learn, and why from this company? For this extra added benefit, it helps to know #1 and #3.

Closing Thoughts

Answering this question should take no longer than 30 seconds. For some interviews, it’s the way things warm up. Keep things simple and get everything off to a good start.

The Three Stages of Journey

The Three Stages of Journey

There’s a lot of career advice on the market. If you’re older, the advice tends to skew towards fighting ageism, figuring out retirement, and reinvention in ever-changing economic times. If you’re younger, the advice favors following your passions, finding your first job, and surviving the first few years. As a whole, much of this advice is recycled each year with some changes made, often with changes made with the transformation of technology like social media.

On my last job search, I got to thinking about a lot of the advice we give job seekers as I drove across the state looking for my next job. As a millennial, I get my fair share of advice as well, with peers and experts writing articles urging people such as myself to follow what I love (alongside articles that criticize my generation for being lazy, but that’s for another time). Through reading a lot of content, I felt that there needed to be something easier. After all, while finding a job can be a very difficult endeavor, should the associated theory of getting there be just as hard?

Not necessarily.

As the title indicates, my career journey has allowed me to distill the modern search for vocation down to three distinct categories and phases. To note, each of us goes through one, two, or all three of these phases in our career and each theme provides inspiration and motivation for us to show up to work daily. Furthermore, we also move from one theme to another depending on where we are. Each of these themes also allows us to move beyond the repeated messaging we constantly hear, and instead focus on the most important part of work at hand: ourselves

Career Journey Theme #1: Survival

What it sounds like: “I want a job for a job”

Who it usually is: The new college graduate

Millennials are saddled with the unfortunate curse of student loans. With higher education clocking in more expensive than ever, sometimes finding a job to find a job to pay down accumulated debt is the most pressing thing for the new worker. For older workers continuing to pay off debt, survival continues to be a theme particularly with crippling interest. Paying off debt is not the only theme for survival, since many are also seeking the right experience, looking to get back into the market, or transitioning from one industry to another.

The theme of survival can describe one’s entire career or the first five years, depending on what someone decides to do for a living. From an employer side, employing workers who are simply trying to survive is not ideal, since many may show up to work simply to get the paycheck needed to pay rent and basic necessities. Staying in this area of one’s career is not necessarily healthy nor comfortable, but for many it’s simply about making do, and sometimes, that’s okay.

Career Journey Theme #2: Purpose

What it sounds like: “I know why I am here today”

Who it usually is: Someone who has been working for 3-10 years

The comfortable medium of purpose is where most employees want to be in their career. Waking up with purpose each morning and going to work is the ultimate freedom. For the lucky few, this is an experience they get to have throughout their careers alongside the leverage of moving from job to job. Others jump straight to this theme, bypassing survival altogether since they have known what they want to do from the very beginning.

Much of the millennial career philosophy revolves around this particular theme, and for good reason. As the Great Recession wreaked havoc on career opportunities, many millennials opted to follow purpose-driven vocations since they had very little to lose. For older employees, the theme of purpose continues to manifest as they take on more roles, complete more projects, and move throughout their industry.

Career Journey Theme #3: Leadership

What it sounds like: “I want to affect change in the industry”

Who it usually is: Someone who has been working for awhile or is influential

As they say, it’s lonely at the top, and oftentimes that role is within leadership. Leadership doesn’t necessarily mean settling into a senior management or c-suite role, but can also be represented as thought leadership. In work, leaders are often at the forefront of inspiring innovation, speaking at conferences, and offering their thoughts on blogs. To some effect, the emergence of digital media has transformed all employees into leaders, but those who have mastered survival and discovered their purpose stand out the most since they speak from the deepest convictions.

Of the three themes, leadership is the most difficult to obtain due to access and experience, though some break through at a very young age. Being a leader can also be considered the least important for maintaining a career, as some simply prefer to work, and that’s okay.

Some Closing Thoughts

When I manage Albert’s List, I take all three of these themes into consideration. For one, I never urge prospective employees to pursue what they love because it’s an unfair approach to pursuing work. With everyone in different spots of their career journey, the best thing anyone can do for another individual is encouragement through the act of offering referrals, guidance, and introspection. Asking to add passion into the mix is not just a disservice to the job seeker, but also coming from a point of extreme privilege.

As I take a look at these three themes above, I approach each job conversation from the perspective of flexibility. Work has changed immensely over the past decade, and few stay at one company or organization for their entire lives. As the workforce continues to evolve with the arrival of artificial intelligence, robots, and automation, the themes of work will only change more.

Not Loving Monday Mornings?

Not Loving Monday Mornings?

This article is authored by Amy McCloskey Tobin and originally appeared on YouTern, a community enabling young talent to to become highly employable by connecting them to high-impact internships and mentors – and through contemporary career advice found on their blog, The Savvy Intern. We have partnered with them to bring more content to the Albert’s List blog. You can view the post here.

When you wake up on a weekday morning, are you excited about your work week ahead? Or, like so many working people, do you dread going to the job?pen-writing-notes-studying-large

You may be asking yourself: Is this what I’m really meant to do? Is this why I worked so hard in college? Is this all there is?

A recent Gallup survey shows only 31 percent of American workers are “engaged” at their job. Now consider this: the average American worker will spend 92,120 hours of their life working. That is far too much of your life to not love your job.

So how do you get to the point you’re one of those workers who love Monday mornings? Here are some ideas to help you get there…

What Do You Love?

Many people will tell you that they don’t know what they should be doing with their career and that is why they aren’t in a job they love. But that assumes there is only ONE job you will love, and you just haven’t discovered it yet.

What I’d like you to consider is there are probably many jobs that would inspire you, and all you need to do is find one of them.

To that, you must first know yourself — and know what you’re really good at.

What do you do best? What is your number one talent? What is effortless for you to do well? Once you understand that, you look for a job that uses those skills. Or, better yet, begin to use those skills more often in the job you’re doing now. After all, it is possible to transform your job into something you love.

One Reason You’re Not Loving Monday Mornings

Too many of us get stuck in a rut at work because we lose a sense of priority; we spend too much time doing the wrong things — or maybe the things that don’t matter as much.

Truly successful people spend a lot of time doing the RIGHT things instead of working hard at the wrong things.

What are the right things in your job? What are your highest priorities? How are you contributing to the mission of your organization?

Don’t Stay in a Job You Hate

If you are miserable in your job and you KNOW it isn’t what you are meant to do, you must quit. That doesn’t mean leave with no planning and no savings, of course. But you cannot remain at a job that is unfixable.

Too many of us have a fear of leaving — we think that perhaps the job will get better, or feel guilty about not giving it our all. Ultimately, those thoughts are barriers that keep from leaving our comfort zones; from trying something new that might be the job you really love.

Stop Thinking About Money

We often equate success with how much we earn. This mindset — and leaving even the worst job if it means a step-down in pay — makes it difficult to move to a job we would love.

Especially during the early years of your career, make passion and purpose far more important than money.

If you really love what you do you will live a much happier life, even if you have to cut back on some of the perceived luxuries you once enjoyed. When that happens to you, you’ll discover, as many as you have, that there is no luxury greater than loving your work.

This may all sound easier said than done. It may not happen overnight. But don’t be afraid to try something different. Be interesting. Be bold. Stay curious and optimistic.

How to Use the Internet Wisely

How to Use the Internet Wisely

Internet is a great place full of wonderful information, but it is also full of many dangers. To stay safe on the internet, use the following strategies.
Suspendisse nunc metus, aliquam sed malesuada sed, efficitur in est. Cras scelerisque eu dolor a aliquet. Suspendisse potenti. Nunc mollis convallis odio, vel scelerisque metus commodo et. Vestibulum viverra semper nisl, in venenatis tortor elementum eget.

1. Update Your Operating System Regularly

Duis id purus at turpis mattis dignissim. Fusce nec scelerisque turpis, ut molestie massa. Sed condimentum viverra erat, nec pretium lorem dapibus ac. Pellentesque efficitur ante eget dolor luctus, non euismod nisl interdum. Etiam nec enim elit. Fusce convallis purus a malesuada sagittis. Donec tincidunt tortor leo, vel egestas diam luctus a.

2. Choose Strong Passwords

We are all now connected by the Internet, like neurons in a giant brain.

Proin malesuada ligula libero, vitae bibendum sem placerat sed. Quisque cursus id velit sed varius. Nam porta aliquam magna ut tempor. Aenean quis sapien quis nulla malesuada finibus. Etiam cursus odio varius rhoncus fermentum. Nullam tristique augue elit, sit amet malesuada ex congue ut.

Proin malesuada ligula libero, vitae bibendum sem placerat sed. Quisque cursus id velit sed varius. Nam porta aliquam magna ut tempor. Aenean quis sapien quis nulla malesuada finibus. Etiam cursus odio varius rhoncus fermentum. Nullam tristique augue elit, sit amet malesuada ex congue ut.

3. Increase Your Browser Security Settings

Fusce volutpat justo magna, a imperdiet erat semper sit amet. Proin elementum, odio a aliquam accumsan, enim felis mollis magna, et euismod mauris purus sit amet mauris. Sed eget semper mauris. Donec eleifend aliquet nisl, ac mattis purus accumsan at. Suspendisse potenti.

4. Secure Your Wireless Router

Class aptent taciti sociosqu ad litora torquent per conubia nostra, per inceptos himenaeos. Cum sociis natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Nam feugiat eget leo eu aliquam. Nunc finibus, quam id lacinia euismod, eros mauris efficitur ligula, sed fringilla dolor tellus sed augue.

5. Bank and Shop Carefully

Fusce nec scelerisque turpis, ut molestie massa. Sed condimentum viverra erat, nec pretium lorem dapibus ac. Pellentesque efficitur ante eget dolor luctus, non euismod nisl interdum. Etiam nec enim elit. Fusce convallis purus a malesuada sagittis. Donec tincidunt tortor leo, vel egestas diam luctus a.

Theme Demos
Buy Now