Nov 132012

Are you currently using Twitter to find job leads? If not there is a whole universe for you to discover…

Twitter took the world by storm a few years ago when it became a novel way to broadcast your thoughts and interact with organizations, celebrities and other professionals. For many, the idea of using Twitter just doesn’t seem to make sense. People use a funny language, poor grammar, shorten words (i.e. “you” = “u”) and having just 140 characters seems to limit what you can broadcast. Other people just don’t feel like broadcasting information about themselves in a public forum.

GigSpire is here to tell you that there are jobs on Twitter. If you aren’t participating in the space you are behind the curve and missing the boat on many opportunities that may be a fit for your job search.

We aren’t going to teach you all of the in’s and out’s of using this valuable platform. We are going to make a case that if you have been resistant to using Twitter, you should re-think your position. For those beginners (and even for those who have used Twitter a little) this link on Mashable (a very popular news site for social media) is a great “how to” on the basics of the platform. Take a look and read through it to get started.

Once you get registered and begin using Twitter, search for jobs. Simply put the job title you are seeking in the search box and see what comes up. You will find people who broadcast jobs (i.e. recruiters and head hunters) as well as companies and staffing agencies that are looking for people just like you.

The really exciting thing is that Twitter allows you to have direct interaction with people and organizations about these jobs. You can ask questions, discuss specifics and make yourself known beyond sending a resume. As a matter of fact if you are using Twitter correctly (the way we teach it’s use in the GigSpire Program’s workshop) you will begin “tweeting” about your area of speciality. If you have a series of “tweets” that discuss your knowledge of your industry and profession, you will help to establish yourself as a knowledgeable candidate. As a matter of fact, the more you tweet the more people will begin finding and following you. You may even find yourself being contacted by a potential employer about a new position…Just sayin…

Good luck and get tweeting!


Sep 132012

We were recently asked:

“What do most people mess up in an elevator pitch?”

GigSpire’s response:

Delivering an effective message is important whether you are making a sales presentation or trying to get an interview. Most people fail to do two things:

  1. Form a strategic thought or message to communicate
  2. Practice their elevator pitch

Strategy is important in almost anything we do and most people would agree that planning is a good thing. When it comes to a person’s elevator pitch most times they don’t plan it however, they “wing it” when asked what they do or are presented with a chance to introduce themselves.

The problem with this approach is we can easily be distracted and may not deliver a focused message that accurately relates our capabilities and wants/needs.

A format used in the GigSpire Program is the S.T.A.R. format:

  • Situation – Explain the problem in 15 seconds or less
  • Task – Identify a task or two tasks needed to solve the problem
  • Action – Identify the action you take to resolve the problem and address those tasks
  • Result – Explain the results of the actions you take to solve the problem


The entire pitch should be 90 seconds or less and the person should practice it so that it flows smoothly. We recommend practicing in front of a mirror or with another person to be sure and individual is comfortable delivering his or her elevator pitch.

Be sure to be prepared when asked about what you are looking for, that’s our advice!

Jul 312012

Preparing to Conduct an Informational Interview

You should have already learned how to research information about organizations and people. If you have not, get started by using websites, blogs, employer reviews, your personal and professional network and social media for a start. The more you know about an organization and the people you want to speak with, the more effective you will be in your conversation with a hiring manager. The Hiring Managers you will be contacting expect potential members of their team to be capable of holding a conversation about the industry and the work involved.

You should have also identified stories to communicate your accomplishments to others. If not, get on it! The stories of your accomplishments are your selling points and you will use now more than ever. You have to be able to help others see why you are a value add to an organization. If you cannot communicate your value, no one will be interested in hiring you. Remember that you have skills, you are capable of working hard and accomplishing tasks and it is up to you to be able to relate those things to others! Some things to keep in mind:

Research The Company & The Hiring Manager

  • The more knowledgeable you are about the business or industry and the Hiring Manager, the better questions you are able to ask.
  • Research will allow you to eliminate asking questions of a Hiring Manager that should be “common sense” to a professional who does their homework.

Practice Telling Your Stories of Accomplishment

  • Answering a Hiring Manager’s questions with a polished and well thought response is helpful to your image.

Being prepared with this information prior to a phone call increases your confidence and reduces stress, providing Hiring Managers a better presentation of your capabilities. You are going to be speaking directly with a Hiring Manager and need to be as polished as possible.

Get Your Questions Prepared

To be sure you don’t have any fumbling points, prepare a list of 10-15 questions that are of importance to you. Among those questions choose the top 5-7 you must ask during the call or conversation. Be certain to have this list in front of you when you have the conversation along with a pad of paper and pen.

Our Next Installment in the Series…

We will discuss exactly how to get an Informational Interview started…

Jul 182012

Something that people forget when they are on job search is that Networking is the most important thing they can do to find a job. Networking goes beyond using Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter…it means getting out and speaking with people face-to-face.

These conversations can happen anywhere too, you do not have to be at a formal networking event. Libraries, places of worship, the grocery store, the laundromat…anywhere people go can be an opportunity to have a conversation.

So what do you say?

Try “Hello” to start with. Small talk can get started anywhere. As the conversation get’s started simply say something like:

“I hope you don’t mind me asking but what do you do for a living? Reason I ask is I am looking for work as a INSERT JOB TITLE and I have learned that you never know who you might meet that could make a connection.”

See what they say…but don’t go in hoping or expecting the conversation will turn into an opportunity. In most cases they will not have a career related to yours or know anyone that can help. BUT the really cool thing is that they might. They may know someone or be familiar with a resource that you are unaware of. They may work in a company that is hiring. They may also be a hiring manager or know a hiring manager who may be looking for a person just like you. The point is if you do not ask you will never know.

Avoid missing an opportunity, start talking with people.

Human nature lends itself to helping others. Normally if a person can help someone without it being an inconvenience to her or his life, most times the person will help. Make sure if the person can help, get as much information as you can on the spot. Ask about:

  • Names of people or the organization you should investigate or talk to
  • Name of the person you are talking to and his or her contact info to follow up

Be sure to thank her or him and hand over your business card. If you do not have business cards and you are on the job search, make certain to get some printed up for just such an occasion. Always carry them with you.

Conversations are the number one way to get a job, period. So get out there and start talking to people letting them know what you are looking for. Believe it or not, you just might find your next job from chatting with someone at the:

  • Post office
  • Bank
  • Doctor’s office
  • Chamber of commerce
  • Gym
  • School
  • and on
  • and on…

Good luck!

Jul 172012

One of the greatest failures a job seeker can make is a failure to follow up with conversations that may lead to a job. These conversations may not always appear to have a direct line to employment but the more you talk with people, help them understand what you are capable of, the greater opportunity you have to get an introduction to someone who can hire you.

These conversations can happen almost anywhere. Meeting someone at a networking event, college reunion, dinner party…just talk with people. To be prepared for these conversations you have to have a few things ready:

  1. Know the job you are looking for: Being aware of the type of job you want is important. Know the titles of people who would work around you and more importantly those who would hire you.
  2. Understand and be able to communicate your value statement: Job seekers must understand how their skill sets and experience can help an organization. Practice your value statement so it comes across in a polished and professional manner.
  3. Ask for help: When you meet someone who works with people who may hire you or even alongside you, ask them for some help. Ask about his or her company, if they could make an introduction to a potential hiring manager for you or if they know anyone you should speak with. Many times people associated with your line of work will know at least one person they can introduce you to.
  4. Follow up: Lastly make certain to follow up with this person. Don’t get impatient or desperate if they do not get back with you right away. Realize that people can be busy and often something as simple as an introduction can be lost in the busy nature of our work days. Continue to reach out to the person if they agreed to help you, always be positive in your communications with him or her and continue to reach out until the introduction has been made.

Remember, you must be diligent in your job search efforts. Ask for help and always be positive. You may finally get that introduction you need!


Jul 032012

In our ongoing series of Job Search Tips we discuss emails, or more specifically your email address on the job search. Enjoy the read!

Many people fail to think about the importance of email addresses when they search for a job. Although you may not think about it, I can promise that hiring authorities do!

I got my first email address many years ago when I was studying to be a chef. My first email was a reflection of that passion, incorporating the word “chef” in a unique way that reflected my personality. This kind of thing is common and part of the great diversity of the Internet world. Your email can be just about anything…just think twice about using a personalized or stylish email address on the job hunt. Get an email address that is as close to your name as possible!

Believe it or not, recruiting professionals love to pass around resumes that have these kinds of personalized email addresses. Things like “hotmama42” or “iruntobefit” or “sallythequeen” are nothing but a joke to these people. We will often laugh at the ignorance of job seekers who send a resume with such an email address…right before we discard the candidate from consideration.

You see, if you are not aware of how poorly this makes you appear as a candidate, your awareness may not be at the level needed to make the recruiter look good in the eyes of his or her boss. We want top tier candidates to make us look good.

Be smart and get your name as an email address. Use it only for job search if you like. Believe me, it makes a difference.