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Are You a Good Fit for Your Job?

What is Good.Co? from Good Co on Vimeo.

Workplace culture is an important factor when considering a job change. Recruiters hear it constantly when sending in a candidate who looks great on paper and the interview feedback is simply “great experience, but gut instinct says he’s not the one”. That’s the classic case of the poor culture fit feedback. Studies have shown that bad culture fit is one of the main reasons new hires fail within the first 18 months on the job, it will cost a company an average of $50k each. Moreover, two out of three Americans are disengaged at work, costing billions in lost productivity.

Now, thanks to a new social network and self-discovery platform, Good.co, you can find out in just 15 questions your professional and personal personality traits and see if they match up with a potential employer’s profile.

Not Another Boring Personality Test!

The questions aren’t your run of the mill boring aptitude questions. You’ll be asked if you’re more like Justin Timberlake or Eminem or if you would rather be a character on Friends or Survivor.

Not what you expected, right? And yet these 15 little questions help the intelligent software determine your traits in your professional life, which can provide you with valuable insight into how you work with others.

And speaking of the software, it’s pretty sophisticated. The website says it uses 20 years of psychometrics research, as well as “high-velocity statistical models and the ultimate crowd-sourced culture graph.”

Once you get your Archetype (and you may be a combination of more than one), you can connect to your LinkedIn profile to see how good a fit you are for your current (or past) position.

How to Use Good.co

Good.co has about 400 company profiles and growing. You can use it to see how compatible you are with certain companies. It’s also very interesting to check how compatible you are with your colleagues. Looking through my personality assessment, I found myself nodding in agreement with most of what it said. My results revealed I am ⅓ straight shooter,  ⅓ mastermind, and ⅓ strategist. Then I compared myself to my business partner, which interestingly showed we pretty much get along, but have some areas of conflict. And we do… as I’m sure she would agree. Knowing how compatible/incompatible we are can help of smooth out those rough patches and be more understanding of each other.

Good.co is currently in Beta. If you are interested in signing up and taking a look at your profile, you can use this code: goodcolindsay

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Where Job Seekers Should Be Online

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The Wall Street Journal reported this week that companies are decreasing their spending on job boards and refocusing their recruiting efforts by using employee referral programs and social networks like LinkedIn and Facebook. So if you haven’t updated your online presence recently, now’s the time to do it. This week I wrote a blog post for US News and World Report On Careers about the tools job seekers should consider to stay visible online.

Check it out: Where Job Seekers Should Be Online

What sites, tools, or applications do you find helpful?

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How to Use Twitter to Land a Job

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This week on US News and World Report’s On Careers blog, I posted about using Twitter for the job search.

Here’s an excerpt:

Are you using Twitter for your job search? If you have yet to see results, don’t give up! Using the social-networking tool, you can find real jobs and connect with real people who are hiring.

One of Twitter’s most useful aspects is the access it provides you. Recruiters, HR representatives, hiring managers, and executives all use Twitter on a daily basis. Unlike an online job posting where you can only apply via the information provided, Twitter allows you to interact with these people directly by sending them an @ reply or a direct message. Your resume is much more likely to be seen and seriously considered if you’ve interacted with a company representative rather than applying to a job post along with hundreds of other job seekers.

Visit US News to read the rest of the tips to get noticed and hired on Twitter.

Image credit: Joe Lazarus
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My Five Favorite Uses for Twitter in PR

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Here are my five favorite uses for Twitter:

1. Spend too much time browsing the tweets, retweets and links shared by the hundreds of PR pros I follow

2. Get breaking news updates from tweets of news services/media I follow

3. Spend too much time browsing links to blogs on a wide variety of political, cultural and personal interests topics and opinions (this feels something like scanning magazines in the grocery check out line)

4. Spend too much time on a mental break browsing the tweets of celebrities, professional comedians and other off-beat characters whose tweets I follow

5. Participate in chats

These are probably all pretty self-explanatory (and obviously time-consuming) ways to use Twitter, except for possibly the last one: participating in Twitter chats.

Recently a few colleagues have given me "the look" when I mention how great I think Twitter chats are.  I think some people have the impression that Twitter chats are an even more intense version of Twitter, with lots of chatter.  But participating in an organized Twitter chat is different from regular tweeting that references a specific hashtag.  In fact, the chats are usually highly organized.  The ones I′ve participated in all have a moderator, and sometimes a special guest (e.g. an expert on the chat′s current topic).  Questions or topics are determined ahead of time (you can submit questions via the moderator) and then controlled by the moderator.  Shonali Burke explains Twitter chats and what makes one good in her excellent blog.

If you work in PR and are active on Twitter I highly recommend looking into these chats:

#journchat, created by @prsarahevans takes place every Monday at 8 pm ET and explores the impact of online communications and new media with 200+ journalists, bloggers and PR professionals participating each week.

#soloPR, which was created by @kellyecrane as a way for Solo PR pros to share tips, stories and insight on PR and working independently. It′s held Wednesdays at 1 pm ET.

#measurePR, recently started by @shonali and held bi-weekly on Tuesdays from 12-1 pm ET

#PRStudChat, a monthly Twitter chat moderated by @dbreakenridge and host @valeriesimon that is designed to bring together PR students (that′s where the "stud" comes in), professionals, and educators for conversation about PR, as well as learning, networking and developing mentoring relationships.

#pr20chat, a discussion of where PR is heading, led by @bethharte, @jgoldsborough and @prtini, on Wednesdays at 7 pm CT

You can find other chats on TweetChat or through this spreadsheet that Robert Swanwick created.

Alison Kenney an independent PR practitioner with more than 15 years of PR consulting experience.  She is based on Boston′s North Shore and has worked with organizations in the technology, professional services and consumer industries. She writes a bi-monthly PR column on LindsayOlson.com. Learn more her here.

Photo credit: Kentigerm
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How to Answer the Salary Question

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Q:

Something I've always wondered about is how to handle the "salary chat." What do you do/say when asked how much you made and how much you want to make? I always found the second especially confusing when you know the job you are applying for has a wide range of salary options.

A specific instance that I'd love to know how to improve is what to do when switching from a lower paying industry to a higher paying industry. You know that you could make more at the second job, but it's hard to say well I used to make $100 dollars and now I want to make $300 (the going rate for the new industry job) -- how do you justify the jump and/or not wind up getting paid less than others would for the same position.

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A:

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It's hard not to panic when asked about salary during the interview and it'll inevitably come up during the interview process. How you choose to respond to salary questions with your prospective employer is a determining factor in the compensation package you'll be offered.

Your future employer understands that you have expectations and a base you must maintain. When it comes to the salary game, if you're the first party to name a price, you're putting yourself at a disadvantage. You'll give the company the power to make an offer based on your previous salary, not your fair market value. If you're underpaid, you risk the hiring manager devaluing your skills and not being considered for the job. If you state a number too high, you risk pricing yourself out of the job before the company fully understands your value.

So be careful with what you say and how quickly you jump into these negotiations.

Penelope Truck give us some suggestions on how to handle salary questions in her post, The Answer to the Toughest Interview Question.

What salary range are you looking for?
"Let's talk about the job requirements and expectations first, so I can get a sense of what you need." That's a soft answer to a soft way to ask the question.

What did you make at your last job?
"This position is not exactly the same as my last job. So let's discuss what my responsibilities would be here and then determine a fair salary for this job." It's hard to argue with words like "fair" and "responsibilities""”you're earning respect with this one.

What are you expecting to make in terms of salary?

"I am interested in finding a job that is a good fit for me. I'm sure whatever salary you're paying is consistent with the rest of the market." In other words, I respect myself and I want to think I can respect this company.

Avoiding these questions makes most people nervous, so rather than step around them, they answer them and spend the next week beating themselves up over it while they wait to see what they're offered. It's understandable that you and the company don't want to waste time if salary expectations are too far off. Just remember that these details tend to become more flexible as the interview process progresses.

If you find yourself in that position and you feel like you need to give an answer to the question, try to find out the budgeted range first and then keep it open for discussion. If all else fails, it's certainly okay to give a range, but don't pinpoint a specific number. You could say "I assume [name of company] in [geographical region] pays between $80,000 to $95,000 for a position with these responsibilities. Is that what you had in mind?"

Preparation is key for these types of discussions. You'll find the best salary data through specific industry salary surveys. Recruiters with whom you have relationships may also be good sources. Be careful with the general salary sites - I find they are usually off a bit from what the industry pays. Same goes for those cost of living calculators if you are considering relocation, especially in a high cost city. The real salaries simply do not meet the difference.

The rules change if you work with an outside recruiter for the position. A recruiter will require your most recent salary history. Their clients expect them to handle your salary negotiations and it's important for them to know where you are and where you want to be to make the offer process move forward smoothly.

Photo credit: Roby72

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LinkedIn Applications

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LinkedIn announced last week the launch of its own applications platform. Now you can add ten different applications to share your work with your network: recent blog posts, your Amazon reading, upcoming trips, presentations, and other online collaboration tools. Here is a list and summary of the applications or watch the video below:

This is certainly not a new idea to anybody who is a regular user of Facebook or any of these tools. I'm surprised it took LinkedIn this long to launch an application platform (I'm still waiting on the an email toolbar for Mac - please LinkedIN, my productivity would benefit greatly with a similar toolbar for Apple Mail!).

Just because they are late to the game and I can use similar applications on Facebook, it doesn't mean I'm not going to use them on LinkedIn too. It is an invaluable tool in my job and I reach a varied audience in a much different way on LinkedIn than I do on other social networks. And I don't have to deal with invites from my network for silly applications I would never put on my page. Thank you!

Which applications are you using on LinkedIn? Has it changed how you are using the site?

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