5 ways to use ‘bridge days’ for career success

Many businesses close down during the quiet period between Christmas and New Year. If you’re lucky enough to have some “bridge days” away from work, why not put them to good use? With a little smart thinking, you can maximise downtime during the holidays to help further your career.

1. Network and send e-cards

The festive period is a great opportunity to meet up with friends and ex-work colleagues you haven’t seen in a while. ‘While you’re catching up on old times, you can share what is happening with you work-wise,’ says Corinne Mills of careers consultancy Personal Career Management and author of Career Coach.

‘Perhaps they can be a sounding board for some of your ideas or give advice on your current career challenge. They might even know of some new opportunities or useful contacts for you to talk to.’

Many jobs are never advertised, and often it’s “not what you know, but who you know” that can make all the difference. According to a survey by career management consultancy Drake Beam Morin, 60% of former job hunters said they had found a new role through networking.

If you can’t meet up in person, Corinne suggests sending e-Christmas cards to your professional contacts. ‘It’s a gentle way to keep your relationship warm with relatively little effort and could be helpful in the coming year if you could do with their help, or vice versa.’

2. Update your CV and LinkedIn profile

If you haven’t done so for a while, now is a good time to update your CV and LinkedIn profile.

‘Applying for jobs in the modern world is about so much more than what you put on your CV and any recruiter worth their salt is likely to have at least a cursory glance at your online presence in order to get a fuller and more detailed picture of what you’re really like,’ says Michael Bennett, co-founder and managing director of Rethink Group.

‘Having the time off work can be a good opportunity to get your profiles in order and to review your social media presence. It sounds obvious but far too many people overlook it. Consider whether your profile presents a professional image that you would want an employer to see and if it doesn’t, change it.’

Corinne agrees, adding: ‘Take time to update your profile with your career-building activities and achievements over the last year. It will help you be ready for opportunities when you see them.’

3. Review your career kitbag

As the year comes to an end, the holidays are an ideal opportunity to think back over your achievements and consider how you want 2016 to be different.

‘Now’s the time to review your career kitbag,’ says John Leescareer strategist and author of How to get a job you love. ‘What have you learned in the last 12 months? What can you do now that you couldn’t do a year ago? How have you changed and developed?

‘Think about why you want to make a change. Are you tired of your role, your team, your organisation, your work sector, or your boss? Be sure to address the real problem.’

4. Plan for the future

Once you’ve thought about what you need to do to make your goals happen, Corinne suggests scheduling the tasks and activities in a 2016 calendar, so you have mini-reminders and targets throughout the year. Once you’ve done some soul searching, it’s time to look outwards. John says: ‘I call the process “organised discovery” – talking to people about the roles they occupy and the sectors they work in. Doing this mapping task means you have a much clearer understanding of the benefits of change, and when you apply for a job, a much clearer understanding of employer needs.’

5. If you’re stuck at work…

Stuck in the office between Christmas and New Year? You might as well do your best to get the most out of it. ‘If you’re working intermittently over the festive period, this can be a great time to speak to your manager, colleagues or other decision-makers who might be in at the same time,’ says Corinne.

‘The work pressures are often less, people are more relaxed and generally happier to chat “off the record”, especially if there are fewer people around. Use this time to ask for their advice, sound out opportunities or ask about something you’ve been meaning to for a while, but there just didn’t seem an appropriate time to do it.’

Finally, you’ve worked hard in 2015 – so don’t forget to enjoy the Christmas break!

Unable to copy/paste your job description in Firefox?

FireFox has made some security improvements, so it is very likely you are not able to copy and paste your job content on CareerBuilder.

If you would like to copy and paste your content , you will need to follow the below mentioned steps:

  1. In your Firefox browser, in the url bar type ‘about:config’. Here you can see all the configurations for Firefox.
  2. In the search bar, type ‘clipboardevents.enabled’. This should populate one configuration: the default for this setting is set to true, but will need to be changed to False.

You should now be able to copy/paste.

Job Postings on CareerBuilder.co.uk and CareerBuilder.com

What is it?

CareerBuilder’s Job Postings are a recruitment advertising solution that provides the most exposure to your clients’ open opportunities with a minimal amount of effort. With the help of our recommendation technology, Job Postings put your job opportunities in front of your ideal candidates – regardless of whether or not they are actively seeking. CareerBuilder Job Postings are an essential part of every client’s recruitment strategy.

Features of Powerful Job Postings

These components of a job posting can impact a candidate’s decision to apply

Job title: Keep your job title simple and to the point, using terms candidates are more likely to use in their search. Do not forget to repeat the title throughout the text for relevancy for both CareerBuilder and Google for Jobs.

Education and experience: Helps candidates determine if they have the background needed to be successful.

Salary and benefits: Any time you can add pay or compensation details within a posting, it is highly recommended to do so. Because.. would you apply to a job without a salary?  It is also worth looking into the difference in salary that are offered within different companies for the same type of roles. If the salary is considerably lower, it is always advisable to add benefits that might convince the job seeker to apply for your position instead.

Company name, logo and overview: Include your name, logo and a description of your company culture to differentiate your job posting from competitors.

“Apply Now” button: Make it fast and easy for job seekers to submit an application through CareerBuilder, and expect to see less applicant drop-off.

Recruitment Strategy Model

Understand your recruiting needs so you can optimize your process to find the right candidates!

Where are you on the funnel?

Before you post a job, first identify your recruitment strategy. Do you need as many applications as possible? Or, do you need a more refined number of applications that include highly qualified candidates? From there, use Jobmedic tools to execute on your strategy to achieve your recruiting goals.

HIGH VOLUME

You might need a High Volume Recruitment Strategy if you’re filling a position that has high turnover, is seasonal or if there is a limited supply of potential candidates. Other indications could be if you do not have specific requirements (i.e. high school diploma, entry-level, etc.). Here are some ideas for creating a High Volume Strategy:

  • Use common job titles within the posting
  • Mention compensation (or key benefits)
  • Create and send email campaigns
  • Do not include screening questions, since these restrict the position from being dynamically recommended to job seekers and can increase candidate drop off

REFINED

You’ll need a Refined Recruitment Strategy if there is an ample supply of candidates, you’re filling positions with extremely specific requirements or if the position can be open for a longer period of time. Here are some ideas for creating a Refined Strategy:

  • Post to niche job boards
  • Create robust job requirements within posting
  • Include premium company branding to target specific audiences
  • Include one or two screening questions that confirm candidates have certain education levels or levels of experience

Boolean Search Fundamentals

Having trouble finding the right candidates? Source like a Pro by using Boolean search strings.

What is Boolean?

Boolean Search is a way to organise your search using a combination of keywords and the 3 main Boolean operators (AND, OR and NOT), to produce more accurate and more relevant results for your candidate searches.

Download our cheat sheets* for:

Customer Service / Retail Boolean Cheat Sheet

Sales Boolean Cheat Sheet

IT Boolean Cheat Sheet

Engineering Boolean Cheat Sheet

and start becoming an expert today!

*Please note these are examples and clients should amend the strings and add filters to ensure the string is relevant to their role. CareerBuilder does not take responsibility for the number of results returned by solely using the examples provided.

Google for Jobs comes to the UK!

You might have heard the good news! Google for Jobs is now live in the UK. Please find below some general information and tips on ensuring your jobs are indexed via Oil and Gas Job Search.

Google Enriched Job Search (sometimes generally referred to as ‘Google for Jobs’) is a new offering from Google that aggregates millions of jobs from job boards, career sites, social networks and other sources.

Job seekers can use Google to search for “jobs near me,” “teaching jobs,” or similar queries, and receive in-depth results on jobs from across the web. Users can also search for key criteria such as commute time, job specialities they have honed or the hours they are available to work.

Enriched Search does not replace standard Google search results. Rather, it is a supplemental set of results displayed in a box situated above the standard results listings on Google.

For the most part pure aggregates like Indeed are being excluded from Google for Jobs.

Top 5 tips:

USE JOB TITLES THAT ARE NORMAL FOR YOUR INDUSTRY.

“Java Developer” is a thousand times better than “Ninja IT Developer.” Leave the gimmicky words out of your titles.

DON’T USE ABBREVIATIONS IN YOUR TITLES

“Senior Vice President of Finance” will be much more discover-able than “Sr. VP of Finance.” Google’s search algorithms rank non-abbreviations higher than abbreviations.

PUT SALARY IN THE JOB DESCRIPTION

Google for Jobs is designed for job seekers, not recruiters. Google believes candidates want to know the salary of the job before they apply. Therefore, those job postings with salary will show up higher in their results. Google does not care about your thoughts on this. The data shows postings with salary information get more traffic than those without, even when the salary is below market rate.

PUT THE EXACT STREET LOCATION IN THE JOB DESCRIPTION

See the explanation above. Google for Jobs is for job seekers, and job seekers want to know where the job is. Jobs with exact locations will show up higher in results.

STOP “KEYWORD STUFFING”

Traditional SEO was about keyword stuffing. Put as many words as possible into the post about the job and it will more likely rank higher. Google figured out people were doing this, and they are now ranking those postings lower. You still need to write great job postings, but you don’t need “Environmental Engineer” in a posting 25 times. Five mentions will do just fine.

Logos

You can specify the image Google Search will use for your organization in the search results. Google Search uses markup to recognize the image to use as the organization’s logo. Markup like this is a strong signal to Google Search algorithms to show this image in Knowledge Graph displays. You can find the markup and the properties table here.

Help Hub now live!

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Have a look around, click on the different pages and products to find tips and tricks and training material that will help you maximise your return of investment.