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!


Aug 312012

We were recently asked “What are the best tips for rebounding from a layoff?” Here is our response! 

Getting notice that you are being laid off hurts. You have now proven to be expendable, no longer worthy of employ at this location.

That kind of day can make you depressed for sure.

Like all depressing situations in life, you have a choice to make. You can decide to mourn, wallow in the loss, become petrified in the fear of how you will pay your bills or get a new job. Many people do…and they do it for too long.

Rebounding from a layoff requires a shift in mindset. People must realize that the only constant in life is change and changing jobs is merely a part of life. The days of working a lifetime for an organization with the promise of a pension to take care of us in our Golden Years is no longer a reality. You must take care of yourself, and here is the recipe to get back on track with your career.

Realize That Life Happens

Human nature reverts to feeling victimized during times of stress. Denial, seeking answers, blaming others…we all do it at first. We claim that situations “are not fair” and seek to justify why we have to deal with such a situation. We play the Blame Game.

Realize now that some things are beyond our control and when an employer decides to cut ties with us, the responsibility for finding new work is solely on our shoulders. We must take steps to increase the chances of finding employment and that comes from developing a plan to get back to work for a new employer.

Take an Inventory

Once the shock of receiving a notice of lay off has worn off (typically 2-5 days) the next step is to realize what we have to market to employers. In order to do this we must make a list of our:

  • Skills
  • Experiences
  • Accomplishments
  • Education & Certifications

This information becomes the framework for our marketing materials (aka your Resume) to present to employers.


The next step is to identify companies that hire people like you. Research companies by industry, geography and the market they serve. Search out people with job titles similar to your target job on social media websites such as LinkedIn and realize that their employers hire people like you. Search out people with job titles that would be responsible for hiring someone like you. Identify Networking opportunities, online and in-person, that you might be able to attend to meet people in your industry.

Build Your Resume Effectively

Create your resume using a strategic methodology (of course we recommend the format taught in the GigSpire Program) that will appeal to all levels of resume reader. Ensure that you incorporate Keywords specific to your targeted industry. Build Search Engine Optimization (SEO) characteristics into your text to increase the chances of your resume surfacing when recruiters look for people with your skill sets. Post your resume in multiple locations (job boards, forums, social media websites) and be certain that any social media profiles reflect the same information in your resume.

Start Talking and Networking

No one is going to talk about you looking for work unless you get them talking. Get on the phone and tell everyone you know that you are looking for work. Ask if they know anyone who might be able to connect you with an opportunity. Attend networking events and mention that you are on the job search and see if the people you chat with are aware of any people who are hiring. Make calls into companies that hire people like you, regardless of if you see a job posted on their website.  Get conversations going to ferret out opportunities!

Get an Interview Buddy & Practice Interview Questions

As soon as you find yourself on the job search, immediately find one or several people that you can trade interview questions with daily. Practice your answers to common interview questions as well as your Elevator Pitch. Get feedback to become better and more comfortable presenting yourself and answering questions with stories of accomplishment that will help people understand you are a good worker.

Find a Support System

Seek out other people who are on the job search and meet with them regularly. Often groups meet through religious organizations, community outreach, government programs or even through social media websites. Meeting with others who are experiencing job search challenges will present you with ideas to consider, pitfalls to avoid and support and encouragement by the members of that group.


Too many people become discouraged and give up, believing that jobs do not exist. That is not true.

Thousands of people find jobs everyday. You can too. Create a mindset that you WILL be successful in your job search as long as you work smart!

Follow the steps outlined above and you can rebound from a layoff!

Aug 182012

We recently came across an article on Mashable about LinkedIn and resumes that we thought we should share. You can find the whole article here, written by Gerrit Hall.

Gerrit identified a few things that are typically on a person’s LinkedIn profile that should not be included in the resume. Although we agree with some of this recommendations, we have a few of ideas that conflict. Below find a recap of his article and our thoughts on Gerrit’s take.

1. Listing all of your jobs

Many people list their entire work history on LinkedIn from graduation to present. Gerrit recommends that on the resume not all positions should be listed on the resume. Specifically he says:

“That job you held in high school is likely not applicable to your career path five years post-graduation, so don’t include it on your resume. The jobs you display on your resume should be relevant to the position you’re applying for, so show potential employers your pertinent accomplishments and results at each position in the bullet points.”

GigSpire’s Take: Although we agree that each experience should point to the job a person is seeking, excluding experience can create gaps in activity that will need to be explained in an interview. Our take is to list your experience on your resume and help the people reading your resume understand the timeline of your professional experience. For positions that are not relevant to the job you are pursuing, avoid putting bullets discussing the tasks of the job. Simply identify the employer, your title and the timeline associated with the employment experience.

2. Publications

LinkedIn profiles allow the user to list any publications that a person has been involved in producing. Gerrit’s thoughts are to keep these off your resume and use the LinkedIn profile as a point of reference to provide the employer should they be interested in reviewing them.

GigSpire’s Take: Although we agree that a listing of publications does not need to be present on the resume in all cases, pertinent ones relating to a person’s job search should be notated in an Activities and Accomplishments section. For example if a person had been published on a topic such as Education and they are seeking a teaching position, this is a good bullet point to include. On the flip side if a person has written a fiction book and he or she is attempting to get a job in a field other than writing or publishing then this accomplishment may not be relevant to include on the resume.

Have your publications listed in a separate document or contained in a portfolio that you can hand a potential employer if requested. Referring a curious interviewer to a LinkedIn profile and asking them to follow the links is one more step in the process and unnecessary. Provide requested materials in as easy a format to access as possible. The more steps you make someone go through to get information, the less likely they are to go through the steps.

3. Recommendations

Recommendations on LinkedIn act in much the same way as a “mini” professional reference. We strongly recommend asking former colleagues and managers a person to to write up something positive to be included on a LinkedIn profile. Gerrit recommends to not include these on the resume.

GigSpire’s Take: Gerrit is right on in his recommendations. References are important but not for the resume. Even the line “References available upon request” is a waste of space on the resume. Think about it, if you want my job and I want your references in all likelihood you will provide them.

LinkedIn recommendations are very limited in what they can provide an employer. Most recommendations on LinkedIn are short, provide no contact information to follow up with the person making the recommendation and can be written by almost anyone. They are a great “starter” towards someone speaking highly of a candidate’s performance at work but nothing replaces an actual conversation.

References should be gathered and prepared ahead of time, prior to interviewing. Have your reference list available if requested but make no mention of them until the interviewer requests them.

4. Interests

LinkedIn also gives the user a place to include personal interests on a profile. Gerrit’s take is to avoid mentioning interests on the resume entirely.

GigSpire’s Take: Once again we believe that Gerrit is offering good advice but there are a few times when we would recommend going against his suggestion in this case.

Should a person be involved in an activity that is a demand on his or her time and may conflict his or her work availability, it should be in the Activities & Accomplishments section of the resume. The reason is it must be discussed during the interview. Here is an example.

If Jane is the Den Mother for her son’s Cub Scout troop and they meet every Thursday from 6-9 PM, Jane is not available to work during those times. Depending on the job, her lack of availability at for that time period could be a “dealbreaker” and should be discussed prior to any hiring decision or offer acceptance. Including such an activity on the resume in the appropriate section creates a talking point during the interview.

5. Birthday

LinkedIn allows the user to list her or his birthday and Gerrit recommends against listing a birthdate on the resume.

GigSpire’s Take: We 100% agree.

Remember that what you represent on your LinkedIn profile should be as close to your resume as possible, especially when you are on job search.

Aug 162012

In today’s world of connectivity there is no doubt that social media has taken the world by storm. Millions of people are interacting with others via social media every minute of the day. And social media is only growing stronger.

Social media is also a dominant force in today’s recruiting world. According to recent surveys, over 50% of all recruiters use social media in their work everyday. Many recruiters have made the switch to social media entirely…

So what does that mean to you?

If you have been resistant to join the social media revolution, many recruiters will never find you when searching for candidates.

So which social media website do you join? There are dozens to choose from and there are more variations to the concept being developed everyday. Here is an idea to help you choose which social media platform might be best for you.

Recently I was introduced to a fascinating website The Conversation Prism. The people who run this website regularly publish a listing of the various social media platforms, categorizing them in many helpful ways. I found The Conversation Prism to be a very helpful tool and one I would recommend you check out.

Now keep in mind that you can’t be everywhere and I do not recommend you rush out and join every social media website out there. In order to be effective on a social media platform you have to be involved in using the tool and we only have so much time in our day.

I recommend exploring a few of these and find some that you like.

Get involved in social media, if you don’t you are going to find yourself behind the times. You must become proficient in the ways of today’s society.

How many jobs are out there for a typewriter repair person these days?



Aug 092012

If you are a Facebook user you may already know there are apps available to you that can help with your job search. If you are one of those people who haven’t checked out apps before, there are a few that are very powerful and gaining momentum.

If you are not a Facebook user, we strongly suggest that you create an account right away and begin building a network. If you are concerned about people being able to find you, realize that is the whole point. If you are concerned about security, there are settings you can and should use. The power of Facebook is amazing and there are a number of opportunities that are missed because people are wary of using Facebook. Don’t be that person.


The Facebook Marketplace is an app that is a community based marketplace, similar to a Craig’s List, that allows for all sorts of interactions. The key difference here is that you are able to see connections your friends may have to opportunities, things being sold, for rent or wanted.

Marketplace also has a jobs section and often there are positions available in your area. Just like in Craig’s List not all of them will fit your needs but it is another resource to use in your job search. There is a good write up by Allison Doyle on using Marketplace for job search on that can be found here. I recommend you check it out as she has some good advice on using this tool.


The BranchOut app is Facebook’s answer to LinkedIn. The app is committed to finding jobs, professional networking and recruiting perspective employees. The interface is fairly easy to use and you can even import your resume. The same concept applies here, you are able to see what companies and possible positions your friends are connected to, making an introduction to the opportunity easier.

These are just the two most popular apps on the Facebook platform that job seekers should become aware of and perhaps even use to find a job.