Click the link below for the weekly business rail, with tips on social media and job-hunting, BBB advice on hiring contractors after spring storms, and more. Or check out these other links.
Tip of the Week
You may have spent hours making sure you are using just the right action verbs in your resume, and crafted the perfect cover letter to catch the attention of your future employer, but if you haven't spent the time to clean up what's on your Facebook page, all that work could be for naught. Not only do social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn allow you to connect and network as you search for a job, but they give you a platform to sell yourself - or shame yourself - to future employers.
"Today, making sure you are buttoned up on your social media sites is as important as drafting a perfect resume and cover letter," says Phil Schmitt, a faculty member at Westwood College Du Page who teaches a class on preparing students for their job searches. "It is not uncommon for a prospective employer to go to your Facebook page during the review process. I have even heard of employers asking interviewees to pull up their Facebook pages while in an interview."
Schmitt offers the following social media tips to give yourself the best chance of getting the job you are hoping for:
- Audit all your social media profiles to make sure there aren't any posts or pictures you wouldn't want a potential employer to see. Assume guilt by association - delete any offensive posts by your friends and hide them if they have a habit of posting questionable content on your profiles. After you are done, Google yourself to make sure there's nothing hanging out on the Internet you might have forgotten about from an old account or from something someone else has posted.
- Demonstrate knowledge of your profession. Reposting interesting articles you come across relating to your field demonstrates knowledge and passion. Use your LinkedIn profile to share your experience and expertise, and post anything of interest that you may have authored on all your social media profiles.
- Make connections. LinkedIn is great for connecting with old teachers and other professional contacts. If you had a good relationship with a teacher or former coworker, ask him or her to write a recommendation that you can post on your profile. Connect with those that you meet at job fairs or industry events.
- Learn about your future employers. Follow companies for which you might eventually like to work so you can build your knowledge base about the company. Following the Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn feeds of companies and professional organizations is also a great way to learn about job openings - and you can mention that you learned about the opening through social media to show that you're adept at using these networks.
The Better Business Bureau reminds home and business owners it's important to beware of fraudulent contractors after spring storms. The BBB suggests residents consider the following before using a contractor:
- Contact the BBB before you hire a contractor and avoid businesses that come to your door with a good deal. Visit www.bbb.org and consider using the BBB's free online service called Request-A-Quote to obtain estimates, proposals or general information from BBB Accredited contractors.
- Do not give into demands to make excessively large down payments. Also, don't make full payment until all the work is done to your satisfaction.
- Determine whether the contractor has the proper insurance and ask to see any required state or local permits or licenses.
- Homeowners should check with local and county units of government to determine if permits or inspections are required.
For information on hiring a contractor, visit www.bbb.org.
According to The Street, here are 10 stocks to “like” when Facebook goes public:
Digital Realty Trust
Number to Know
3.3: Percent that global sales rose in April for McDonald’s.
The maker of the BlackBerry, Research in Motion, recently announced that it is hiring two new senior executives. The company has struggled of late and is attempting to jump start its brand.
GateHouse News Service