Job Search

The Importance of a Professional Email Address

Which business would you choose to contact given the following email address: hello@ashleechu.com or cheekyash16@example.com? I would assume you’d choose the first one. This is because we feel a branded, more professional email makes a business or person appear more credible. It may seem insignificant but an email reaches far beyond your inbox. Essentially, your email address is your first impression, builds your credibility, and promotes a certain level of trust. On the other hand, an unprofessional or unbranded email address is not a great way for job seekers or business owners to present themselves. 

GIVE A GOOD FIRST IMPRESSION

Ask yourself this question: What impression does my email address create? A professional email indicates you are established and professional. A cryptic or general email may project inexperience or even worse, raise doubts on whether you're serious or real.

 BUILD CREDIBILITY AND TRUST

As email scams continue to rise, many individuals may not be comfortable emailing their information or doing business with cheekyash16@example.com. A professional email however, will provide a sense of security and reassurance. 

IT'S FREE (OR INEXPENSIVE) AND EASY

You can create a professional email address with ease through Google (my personal preference) for free or other email providers like Yahoo and Microsoft Outlook. To create a custom domain, you can utilize a service from Google, G Suite for a reasonable cost.  

If you are a job seeker, you want to make it as easy as possible for a potential employer to associate you with what you do. If your email address is cryptic or dated, I suggest you create a new email address (it can be temporary while applying for a job or permanent) and use your name. Take me for example, I might consider ashleechu@example.com. If it's not available, try variations that include your first and last name. This will make it easier for prospective employers to find you in their inboxes.

Remember, when you provide your email address, it's a representation of you. 


 

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Job Seeker Glossary

The search for a job can be overwhelming, especially when you're reading job postings for hours on end. That's why I put together this glossary of job, employment, and career terms; to help make your job-search and application process a little easier.

Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) — Used by major employers to collect, store job candidate data and screen resumes from potential job candidates. 

Background Check — Used by employers to verify the accuracy of the information you provide on your resume or job application. Information checked include: employment verification, educational background, references, credit history, medical records, driving record, court records, criminal records, and more.

Cover Letter — Should always accompany your resume when you contact a potential employer. A good cover letter opens a window to your personality (and describes specific strengths and skills you offer the employer). Cover Letters formats include: invited, uninvited, and referral.

Curriculum Vitae (CV) — See Resume

Electronic Resume (or E-Resume) — A resume (see resume) that is sent to the employer electronically, either via email, by submitting to Internet job boards, or on their on website. 

Elevator Pitch — A 15 to 30-second pitch that job-seekers use in a variety of situations (career fairs, networking events, job interviews]) that shares who you are, what makes you different, and the benefits you can provide. 

Email Cover Letter — A cover letter (see Cover Letter) that is sent to the employer electronically via email. 

Follow-Up — Contacting the employers AFTER you've submitted your resume or had an interview. In the early phases of searching for a job, Follow-up is also important after the job interview, first with a thank-you letter, but then also with contact expressing your interest and fit for the position. 

Internships —  Internships involve working in your expected career field, either during a semester or over the summer. Besides gaining valuable experience, you get exposed to the business environment and gain valuable references and network contacts. 

Interview — See Job Interviewing

Job Application — Also known as an Application for Employment. Many organizations require you to complete an application (either to get an interview or prior to an interview).

Job Interviewing — Both the employer and the job-seeker want to determine if the fit is right between them. The job interview is an opportunity for the employer to interview the job-seeker for the position they are hiring. Interview formats include: phone, stress, situational, group, traditional, and screening.

Letter of Interest — See Cover Letter

Letter of Recommendation — A letter of support for your skills, ability, and work ethic, usually written by a former boss or co-worker, but could also be from a teacher or personal reference. 

References — A group of people who will say good things about you and who know specifics strengths that you offer. References may include professional references (current and past supervisors), educational references (former teachers or school administrators), and personal references (who can speak of your character). Prior to including someone as a reference, ask the person for permission.  

Resume — A key job-hunting tool used to apply for jobs and get an interview, It summarizes your accomplishments, education, work experience, and should reflect your skills, personality, and strengths. Resumes come in various formats: chronological, electronic, functional, keyword, text, video, Curriculum Vitae, and web-based.

Don't see a certain job-hunting or employment-related term listed? Comment below. 


 

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Why and How to Clean Your Social Media for a Job Search

With fifty-two percent* of employers using social networking sites to research candidates, the lines between personal and professional can easily blur. When it comes to a job search, social media can help make it more convenient. With the right combination of presence, consistency, and effort, social media can create a good impression with future employers.

TAKE THE TIME TO:

  • Add experience, skills, and projects to your LinkedIn profile.
  • Create a professional Twitter account to engage in industry news and share insights. 
  • Consider an online portfolio or professional blog to showcase your abilities.
  • Google yourself. Determine if you’d be comfortable with a future employer seeing or reading something about you.
  • Take action to manage the information that is available about you online. 

Lastly, check your account and privacy settings across all social media.  

KEEP THE FOLLOWING IN MIND:

  • Have profiles with information that supports your qualifications 
  • Share content that not only shows your insight but your personality
  • Maintain a professional (and relateable) persona across social media profile

With these tips, you can feel confident to leverage your social media to positively impact your job search. 

*Harris Poll, 2015


 

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7 Job Seeker Resources

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Job seekers can easily spend lots of time refreshing websites and mass-submitting their résumé. An effective job search first begins with understanding your job search criteria, a list of jobs you qualify for, a customized résumé and follow through. Once your résumé is ready to go, it's time to hit the internet. 

  1. LinkedIn

  2. Career Contessa 

  3. Levo

  4. Glassdoor

  5. Simply Hired

  6. Monster

  7. Social Media

While there isn't a specific phrase to include on your résumé, there are ways to refresh it in a way to be more confident. And if your job search is longer-than-expected, you can always find joy in the process. Stay focused on what matters and be committed to seek out the right opportunities. 

DOES YOUR RÉSUMÉ NEED A REFRESH?

Joys of the Jobless

Search. Click. Apply. Repeat. 

I have worked for free, been unemployed, worked full-time, worked part-time, and have worked freelance. In 2012, I submitted my two-week notice to my then employer and entered the race to find a replacement job. It was a struggle of the following: I was either underqualified or overqualified, lived out of the area, the position didn't pay enough, or the company culture wasn't the right fit. Within two months into my search, I accepted a full-time position at a popular clothing store. To my disappointment on various differences, I left the retailer and became unemployed.

Throughout this second job search, I worked the heck out of my résumé and networked every contact I had - only to experience rejection. At that point, I had never felt so frustrated, defeated, and unaccomplished. So I did something (Christian) crazy, I gave it over to God. Really. I stopped all the complaints, wishes, and overworked efforts and prayed. Within the week, I had two job offers and accepted one of them. Before my first day, an old employer asked me to relocate for a month and my new employer approved. When I returned to have my official first day, I received two more job offers! 

I know my months on those job searches may or may not have the same outcome as yours. I also know my methods and faith may not be the same as yours. However, I share this because I know the toll unemployed or underemployed life can have on your attitude. So please allow me to introduce you to the joys I held onto...

JOY of a less demanding _____ and _____

JOY of not feeling obligated to answer every email or phone call

JOY of a non-messy cubicle or desk

JOY of more time for family and friends

JOY of the opportunity to get some real rest

JOY of more time to volunteer or get involved with the community

JOY of learning something new or advancing skills

JOY of time to focus on yourself

JOY of possibilities and new opportunities

JOY of learning patience and understanding

JOY of resting in whose you are

There is so much more ahead of you, friend. Allow your search for a job to be more than just a search. Allow this time to provide you with joy, humility, patience, and drive. 

Isaiah 41:10 

"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." 

1 Peter 5:6-7 

"Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you." 

P.S. If your résumé is all kinds of 'blah', I can help. Let's talk about a Résumé Refresh! After all, you have worth. Market it.