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Networking to Find Employment

Networking is not a new thing; it is a proven method of connecting with people in order to expand your career contacts.  As a job seeker, it is extremely important to attend networking events to continue to grow your professional network in a strategic manner.

Effective networking is a continual process.  Even if you are a happily employed individual, there is always the off chance of a layoff or downsizing.  Actively expand your connections and nurture the current relationships you have.

If you find that you are a naturally timid individual at social gatherings, it is important to find a mentor to help you become more comfortable in a networking setting.  Confidence is a key part of networking.  You must be able to sell your abilities if you are asked, but don’t oversell, this is an opportunity to connect, at this point.

Even though these events can feel awkward it is important to not become a wall flower. Make it a goal for you to connect with three people before you leave.  Make sure they are solid conversations and you leave with their business card.

Don’t ask for a job, ask for advice.  Smile.  Shake hands and make a good first impression.  Be friendly to everyone you come in contact with and always ask questions.

Hiring in Rural Areas

ruralFinding the right hire in rural America can be challenging to say the least.  More often than not there are very few, if any, people with the exact skill set your company needs.  Most likely there will be no “Mr./Ms. Right,” so a more creative approach to hiring will need to be taken.

First, make sure to post all of your positions on so that your positions are easy to find and apply for.  Second, start looking for standout employees and places you frequent who appear to have the potential you seek for your organization. That means shopping with a purpose other than grabbing a gallon of milk; chatting with the nurses in your doctor’s office to find out more about their lives; and finding the person in your church who is running all the committees single-handedly. Schools have scores of employees, too, and are worth scouring.

When you find that no one has the skill set you are looking for, take another approach.  Seek out an employee who would be a great cultural fit for your company.  Personality goes a long way, and, for many positions, so will persistence, flexibility and a willingness to dig in and do what is needed to get the job done. You need to find a way to uncover what makes that candidate tick during the interview(s), and will likely devote more time than you initially think necessary to really get to know them.

Once you find someone you think might be a right fit, test his/her skills in various departments. The merits you admired at the check-out counter might suit your customer-service department, or that candidate might be a better fit in an operations position.

There can be enormous benefits to creative hiring. Gems are everywhere, and in rural Nebraska, they’re just waiting to be uncovered. But every hiring manager knows that hires don’t always work out. In a small town, firing is particularly painful because job opportunities are so slim. Make sure you do your homework upfront and give the hiring process the time it needs for you to find the right fit.

Promoting Your Company With Video

With changing times and an ever evolving online world, it is imperative that business owners and managers stay up to date with multimedia.  Utilizing video to get your company message out is beneficial on a multitude of fronts; it helps your placement with search engines, it is engaging to your clientele, and it is persuasive.  The cost of video production is decreasing, and there are also some great, user-friendly software options that can help you produce video in house.

There are so many different avenues to explore when using video as a promotional tool.  Video can be used to add testimonials to a website, to do product presentations and demonstrations; create visual stories, or you could add a video signature at the end of an email.

However you choose to utilize video, the important thing is that you are.  Video is a tremendous promotional tool that can be explored and used for a host of reasons.  Just start rolling!

Résumé Tips to Get You Noticed

When a hiring manager is looking through résumés, what is going to make yours stand out?  The average amount of time a hiring manager looks at a résumé before putting it in the either the must call pile or the never call pile is literally seconds.  You need to make the most out of your résumé to make the most out of that time!  Here are some tricks to having a polished résumé.

  1. Use a consistent look throughout the document; including font style and sizes, indentation, text color, and paragraph or bullet format.
  2. Keep your most relevant education or experience at the top.  If you are applying for a job that is applicable to your education, but not as much to your work history, list your education first.
  3. Make sure you have all of your contact information listed.  If your email address is more for fun than business, create a new account with a professional sound to it.
  4. Have someone proofread your résumé.  You should have zero mistakes, misspellings, typos, and punctuation errors on your résumé.
  5. Keep your résumé clean and simple.  Take out information that will not benefit you for the position you are applying for.  Keep your résumé free of graphics and keep the document to as near one page as possible.

One strategic method to use to keep your résumé sharp is to update it regularly so that when you are ready to use it, it will be ready for you!