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February 2013 (1)
January 2013 (8)
December 2012 (6)
November 2012 (7)
October 2012 (6)
September 2012 (7)
August 2012 (8)
July 2012 (8)
June 2012 (9)
May 2012 (8)
April 2012 (8)
March 2012 (8)


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February 05, 2013


Long Distance Networking

​Networking in an area in which you don't reside seems tough.  Even if you have family and friends there, they can only do so much.  The good news is that remote job search has become easier now that you can do a lot of the work online.

Careerealism suggests starting by being clear on what skill sets you possess, then researching all the companies in the town that would need someone with those skills.  From there, see if your friends and family can identify people they know who work at these firms.

Your goal should be to set up a short phone call - not to ask for a job, but to ask the best way to prepare yourself to be seen as a fit for the company.  Next, schedule some visits and try to set up in-person informational interviews when you're there.  That way when you see a job posting that fits your skills, you'll have someone you can ask for advice to get yourself considered, and they may even be willing to recommend you for the position.

Are you looking for a job in North Carolina or South Carolina?  AAA Carolinas is hiring!  You can see all of our open positions on our career site.

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Published: 2/5/2013  3:54 PM | 0  Comments | 0  Links to this post

January 30, 2013


Maximize LinkedIn Endorsements

Approved LinkedIn logo.pngHave you started using LinkedIn endorsements?  The feature is relatively new, but here to stay.  Make the most of LinkedIn endorsements and use this section wisely because LinkedIn has now enabled it to be searchable by recruiters.

Want to maximize your chance of attracting the attention of employers?  Here are some tips for LinkedIn endorsements and skills.

1.  Add Skills

LinkedIn gives you 50 skills.  Choose the maximum number of entries, listing the terms you want to be found for.  This gives you control over what is listed on your page and what you are more likely to be endorsed for.

Here's how to do it:

Step 1: Under Profile, choose "Edit Profile"

Step 2: Scroll down to the Skills section

Step 3: Click on the blue pencil on the top right of the section

Step 4: Begin typing in your skills in the box, selecting ones that are already listed in the LinkedIn database.

If a skill is so unique to you that is has not been entered into the database yet, you may enter it manually.  But by doing this, you are using one of your 50 terms for an item that is so rare, it's not searched for.

Remember to add skills that match your future goals but may be different from what you've done in the past.

2.  Take Control of Your Skills

Because people may now endorse your ability to perform these skills, you may end up with lots of endorsements for skills on your profile that you don't want to continue using.  This is because LinkedIn has suggested these to your contacts for endorsement instead of you actually picking them.  You can easily delete these.

Here's how:

Step 1: In "Edit," after you've clicked on the blue pencil, you'll see all of your skills.

Step 2: If you click on the X to the right of the individual skill's box, it will be removed.

3.  Take Control of Your Endorsements

If someone has endorsed you for a skill you don't wish to use anymore, write the contact an email.  Thank them for taking the time and explain that you'd really like to be known for a different skill.  Then, politely request that they endorse you for a substitution.

4.  Keep an Eye on Your Brand

Make sure the endorsements you show represent your personal brand well.  If you get an endorsement and you are unsure whether you should keep it on your page, you can easily hide it.

Here's how to remove an individual endorsement:

Step 1: In "Edit," after you've clicked the blue pencil, click on "Manage Endorsements"

Step 2: Your list of skills will be on the left.  The people who have endorsed you will be in a box on the right.  You can scroll through the list and uncheck the box next to anyone you don't want to be associated with on your profile.

Step 3: Click on the next skill you want to review, using the up or down arrows to get to the next group of skills as needed.

Step 4: Hit "Save"

You can connect with AAA Carolinas on LinkedIn here.

Published: 1/30/2013  4:20 PM | 0  Comments | 0  Links to this post

January 24, 2013


Keep Your Cover Letter from Landing in the Trash

trash.jpgSick and tired of your cover letters ending up in the trash can?  Then stop using cookie-cutter copies!

The majority of cover letters are about the candidate and pretty much reiterate what's in the resume. It's as if the candidate is telling the employer, "If you're too lazy to read my resume or miss the important stuff, let me tell you what's in it."

Careerealism says that an effective cover letter is not about you - it's about your understanding of the employer's needs and what knowledge, skills, and experience you have in fulfilling those needs.

The following are some tips on how to craft an effective cover letter:

  1. Read the job announcement. REALLY read it; not just the requirements, but also the description of the company and the job details/responsibilities.
  2. Highlight all the keywords in the announcement.  These are mostly nouns that represent specific skills, expertise, and credentials.  If you're applying online, you can almost be certain that your cover letter is going through an ATS.  And, as is the case with the resume, the ATS is looking for specific keywords.  Be sure to include the appropriate keywords in your cover letter.
  3. Identify which keywords you can feature in your cover letter.  Use one or two brief illustrations of how you applied the selected knowledge, skill, or credential to help a previous employer solve a problem/make money.
  4. Promise similar results and request an interview.  "I'm prepared to deliver similar results for XYZ Company and would welcome an opportunity to interview for this position."  Ending a letter with "Thank you for your consideration" without specifically asking for the interview and stating when and how to reach you may get you nothing more than "consideration."

The last bit of advice for personalizing and customizing the cover letter is this: Leave no stone unturned.  Do everything humanly possible to get the exact name of the recipient.  Call the company and ask.  Check the staff directory on the company website.  Research the company on LinkedIn.  Tap your professional network. 

Yes, some job announcements are "blind" leads and nearly impossible to know whose name to put on the letter.  However, in most cases, a little extra effort on your part can really make a difference.

You can search all of the AAA Carolinas open positions here.

Published: 1/24/2013  3:45 PM | 0  Comments | 0  Links to this post

January 18, 2013


Causal for a Cause

​This week the Charlotte office celebrated the one-year anniversary of Casual for a Cause!  Casual for a Cause is a voluntary fund raising program allowing AAA Carolinas employees the opportunity to donate to charity and enjoy the flexibility of a casual dress code on Fridays.

$18,805 was donated by employees ($2,383 in December 2012 alone), bringing the grand donation total for the year to $28,208, with the 50% company match!

A luncheon was held in honor of the anniversary and approximately 30 employee program supporters were invited to attend, as well as representatives from American Cancer Society and Children's Attention Home, two of the charities that were supported this year.  Below are pictures from the event.

 
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Published: 1/18/2013  10:11 AM | 0  Comments | 0  Links to this post

January 17, 2013


HOW TO Use LinkedIn Status Updates

​You've spent time creating and updating your LinkedIn profile, making connections, and joining relevant groups, but you may be underutilizing one of the best features - LinkedIn Status Updates.  Updating your LinkedIn status is a great way to communicate to your network on a frequent and ongoing basis.

You can update your status from the "Edit My Profile" page or from your LinkedIn homepage.  Every time you update your status, all of your network connections can see it on their homepage.  Be aware that your status update is limited to 140 characters.

Below are 10 tips for effectively using your status update to distribute useful information from Careeralism:

  1. Insert the title and a "shortened" URL link to one of your recent blog articles.  Bit.ly is a great resource for shortening URLs.
  2. Insert the title and "shortened" URL to a blog article you read and really liked.  Particularly one that is timely, informative and relates to your "brand" or area of specialty in some way.
  3. A link to a newsworthy web posting or news item.  Include the title and a shortened URL. Alignment with your brand or area of specialty makes it more powerful.  Try to focus on positive news as opposed to negative news.
  4. A great "quote of the day".  A great source of quotes is to search the #quote hashtag on Twitter.  Since Twitter updates are limited to 140 characters, you'll find quotes that fit the LinkedIn status update window.
  5. A brief piece of advice relevant to your brand or area of specialty.
  6. A link to a great YouTube video.  I recommend linking only to videos that are about 3-5 minutes in length.  The video content should be consistent with your brand or area of specialty.
  7. A request to connect with you on Twitter.  Be sure to include your Twitter URL.
  8. An important announcement about you or your company.  Try a brief "press release" type of communication.
  9. A link to an article in which you were quoted.  Give the title of the article and a shortened URL link to the article.
  10. Recent results and key activities at work.  Something like, "Just landed three new Executive Career Coaching clients this week; excited about launching those engagements!"

While you're on LinkedIn updating your status, check out the AAA Carolinas LinkedIn page for company news and job openings.  You can also search for career opportunities on our career page.


Published: 1/17/2013  12:59 PM | 0  Comments | 0  Links to this post

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