A few years ago LinkedIn was a stuffy and static way to show potential employers your skills and previous job experience. Now, it's becoming one of the most popular social media sites ever thanks to add-ons like the new messenger feature. Like a CV, your LinkedIn profile can make a first impression without anyone reading a word - so how can you get the most out of LinkedIn to ensure you're connecting to the right people?
1. Build Upon Your Reputation
LinkedIn is a great way to build your personal brand. By sharing articles, news or videos of latest industry trends you will catch the eye of those worth connecting with. Remember your LinkedIn page is telling a story, so keep it consistent and those connections should be coming your way.
2. Use Recommendations
LinkedIn has a feature which allows co-workers, friends and clients to write recommendations about you. Ask them to write a few trust-building sentences about why you should be hired. Send an In Mail around to about 50 of your contacts, that way at least 10 or so should follow through.
3. Join Groups
Every member of LinkedIn can join up to 50 groups and you've probably heard the advice to join as many groups as you can already. Participating in the groups means you'll be able to push your content towards those worth connecting with. Don't be that guy who posts in the group everyday just to get noticed, but make sure your posts are relevant, interesting and actually contribute something worthwhile.
4. Seek Introductions
Introductions through LinkedIn have been found to be more fruitful and trusted than through any other means. If you want to contact someone in particular, LinkedIn can show you how by telling you the closest person to them in your list of connections.
5. Complete Your Profile
The LinkedIn search engine tends to favor those with a complete profile. Fill in as many gaps as possible and it's more likely your name will appear in the top 10 of a search.
Dani Davies, Social Media & Marketing Manager
If you've been out of work for longer than a year you may find there's two main things you're competing with: other executives who have been out of work for a shorter period of time and other employed, possibly more experienced, professionals. You're not alone here. In fact, the average time for executives and senior professionals to be out of work is actually 9-12 months. Here are 5 tips that can help you get out of that unemployed rut.
1. Evaluate your current situation
Ask yourself these questions to evaluate what is and isn't working:
2. Keep networking
Don't let employers think that you've lost your competitive edge. Try to attend networking events and make yourself known. Keep on the ball and fill your diary with as many networking events you can.
If you can, find some volunteering or contracting work. Employers will favor you over others if they know you're trying to build upon your experience. Plus staying active during unemployed periods will help with those awkward moments in interviews when you're asked about those blank spaces on your CV.
3. Show off
If you've previously been in an interview process by big companies (whether they were successful or not), subtly let other companies know this. The recruitment world is a small one, so don't lie about why your offer didn't come into fruition, but mentioning that you're in high demand will be attractive to a lot of executive search firms.
4. Reevaluate your options
Change nothing and nothing changes. It may be time to start thinking about widening your geographic perimeters, consider alternate job titles or maybe even go down another career path entirely.
5. Don't look for the perfect role
Sometimes almost perfect can turn out to be exactly what you need. No job is absolutely perfect but it may lead to some prosperous career advantages. For example, the salary may be great and the role is what you're looking for, but the location could mean a tricky commute. Try and be as flexible as you can, if you keep holding out for the perfect job, it may never come.
Dani Davies, Social Media & Marketing Manager
When I started working in the IT executive search industry, I found myself frantically Googling ‘What is Solution Architecture?’ It’s fair to say a lot of people are left feeling a little stumped when they come across this job title. In order to understand what solution architecture is, maybe it’s worth asking the question- what skills are needed for a solution architect?
1. Risk management/identification
The solution architect is responsible for helping organisations deliver technology solutions that avoid potential unfortunate results. The best architects will understand what the technology needs to do and will zero in on and mitigate risks that may inhibit the technology delivering what the business needs. They will be advocates for specialist risk management activities such as performance testing and security testing. Essentially, the architect will need to recognise a risk before it even happens.
You could say that an SA is a techie-sales-person-hybrid. This role is all about understanding needs and providing advice whilst delivering the right technology results. These guys won’t be working face to face with tech keeping themselves to themselves – they’ll be business decision makers, analysts, project managers and vendor representatives. This requires the SA to be able to listen, empathise, explain, advise, influence, and negotiate.
3. Resolving technical issues
You may find that most SA’s have jumped from IT roles in a variety of technical disciplines. Typically, most will have at least seven years’ experience in the industry. They will have the credibility, knowledge and skills to provide advice to companies – this experience can stem from software development and IT infrastructure to telecommunication engineering or database administration.
4. Detail orientated
Any SA worth their money will be able to separate the wheat from the chaff – especially the chaff that no one else notices. The best solution architects understand the technologies and methodologies used are designed for much larger scale activity and are highly skilled at using what is valuable and discarding what is worthless within the given context.
5. Solution shaping
The ideal SA will give the right advice for the business result required. This may mean standing firm on a decision and not being persuaded by vendor hype, product claims, or unwanted jargon. This may also mean telling organisations the hard facts that they may not want to hear. This of course only works when it is communicated respectfully, focusing on the genuine needs of the organisation.
6. Solution management
Depending upon the nature of the project architects may need to look at the big picture – what the organisation is trying to achieve and what business processes it’s using. At the same time they need to zoom in on the specifics – the technical solutions, the data, risks and so on. The architect must easily be able to manoeuvre between the two and must be comfortable doing so to ensure the solution is properly managed.
7. Calm, confident and good common sense
When dealing with any potential risks and problem solving, it’s essential for SA’s to be calm. It’s also important for them to be confident in their delivery in order for their team to be confident in them. Their common sense is used to ensure that the right people are communicated with and that support for the project is aired in the right circles. Like most roles, confidence and common sense are crucial when it comes to SA.
8. Stakeholder management
Stakeholder management is an important aspect of any project. Most projects you work on will involve multiple shareholders, and each one potentially has the ability to speed up, slow down or completely obstruct your progress. Stakeholders may not be in the driving seat, but they can be extremely useful advocates, sponsors and agents of change. The ideal SA must be able to manage the expectations of stakeholders throughout the lifecycle of the project, as well as being politically savvy.
9. Commercial Acumen
As I said before, an SA is like a sales person with the technical knowledge, so they’re going to need to be able to look at a scenario from a commercial and business perspective. This is especially critical when working on projects that involve third parties.
10. Resource Management
Any SA should be able to efficiently use the resources within their organization. Additionally, they will provide a formal line of communication between departments on larger projects. When your team understands where and how your resources are being used, they can better visualize how the project is going.
At Freshfield Services we have plenty of Architect opportunities - contact Lauren Cobb at firstname.lastname@example.org or check out her LinkedIn page for more details.
It's no secret that by 2020 IoT is set to have dominated the tech industry, with a possible 50 billion devices being connected to the internet and each other. So, according to Sonovate, which sectors (and more specifically, which companies) are investing in Internet of Things?
BlueCat - $27,800,000
Sector: Enterprise Infrastructure
Based in Maidenhead, BlueCat delivers software-based DNS, DHCP and IP address management solutions enabling customers to build and manage their most complete network infrastructure to meet the rapid change of pace of their business.
4Energy - $10,500,000
4Energy works with Facilities Management professionals and DC and IT managers to lower energy and cooling costs and improve their understanding and management of their infrastructure.
Inrix - $143,100,000
Inrix offer real time traffic information solutions that help the individual, economic and environmental toll of traffic congestion.
Kaazing Corporation - $37,020,000
Sector: Enterprise Infrastructure
Kaazing deliver a high-performance web communication platform that drives value by better connecting businesses to their customers and by securely and reliably delivering real-time applications over the web.
Zscaler - $148,000,000
Zscaler ensures that more than 12 million employees at more than 5,000 enterprise and government organisations globally are protected against cyber-attacks and data breaches while staying fully compliant with corporate and regulation policies.
the top 4 influencers in iOT
It's been predicted that a possible 50 billion devices will be connected to the internet by 2020. Here's the top 5 people you'll want to be connected to by then...
1. Eamon Aston Kunze (@IoTandIoE)
Eamon is the editor-in-chief for Moda Magazine, a magazine which incorporates fashion and technology. Eamon lives and breathes IoT right now and consistently tweets about his interest in robotics, AI and wearable tech.
2. Ana Alves (@wearabletechana)
Ana is another influencer with a passion for fashion tech. Like Eamon, Ana works for Moda magazine in data and analytics - you'll want to follow her for the latest tech innovation news.
3. Vala Afshar (@ValaAfshar)
Vala's Twitter describes him as the Chief Digital Evangelist of Salesforce. He's also the author of The Pursuit of Social Business Excellence. Afshar is also the co-host of DisrupTV, a weekly show covering the latest digital business and innovation market trends.
4. Jim Harris (@JimHarris)
Jim regularly holds talks as an innovation, business and environmental speaker. He works with leading businesses and Fortune 500 companies and is a number one International Bestselling Author - out of all of the people on this list, this guy is one to get connected with.
Most people see January as a negative, blue and depressing month. Christmas is over, you've eaten way more than you should have and you've spent even more. But here at Freshfield Services, we want to help you banish those January Blues and give you little bits of motivation throughout this month - take a look here at the 10 ways you can boost your motivation and banish January Blues...
1. Refresh your CV
Sounds obvious, but it will feel like making a fresh start. Plus it'll give you a boost thinking about all the things you achieved in 2016.
2. Learn something new
Think about that one thing you've always wanted to do or a skill you could benefit from having. If your company is able to pay for courses or classes, take a look online at classes near you. If not, there's plenty of free courses you can take online - check out whats available here: https://alison.com/
3. Get Networking
It doesn't have to be anything formal, just taking someone out for a coffee to pick their brain can get you ahead in the networking game.
4. Give yourself a social media clense
Take a look through all of your social media platforms and give them a 'brand'. For example, keep the same profile picture, biography and general look. This will make them all look more professional. For more tips on this, check out our post on how to boost your social media presence when job seeking.
5. Organise yourself
Organising your workspace will make you feel cleansed and relaxed. Be relentless and shred, bin or file away anything you don't need and keep it simple. You'll be amazed at how clear you mind feels afterwards.
6. Stay away from your screen during out-of-hours
Job searching day in day out is tiring and can use up a lot of time - make sure you only search during the hours you would usually work - ie. between 9am and 5pm. Treat it like a working day and take a lunch break too. If you can, go outside for a walk or better yet use the gym (January is gym season after all!)
7. Add 5 new skills to LinkedIn
Expand your LinkedIn by showing off what you've done in the past year, this will bring you new contacts, new views and plenty of new connections.
3 quick tips for senior job searchers
by Dani Davies
Social Media and Marketing Co-ordinator
It's beginning to look a lot like that time of year - New Year, New You! If you're now on a job hunt after years and years of employment, joining the world of job-seeking now may seem completely alien and overwhelming. Here are our 3 quick and top tips on how to apply for a job in the modern world of recruitment.
1. Use Social Media
Social Media is an amazing tool for finding the right contacts - it's also a very important and underestimated tool when it comes to a job search. Keep your social media profiles updated and active, this doesn't mean just LinkedIn, but every platform you're on. Hiring managers will look at your profiles to make sure you'll fit into the working environment, so make sure you have an updated profile picture, education and work history where possible. For more tips on how to use social media when looking for a job, click here.
2. Leave Your Comfort Zone
Start networking, reach out to people and get to know them, grow your circle of contacts. There's no doubt you'll be talking to people you've met along the way in your previous career, but it's also time to meet those who have a fresh and modern view of the industry you want to work in. Remember, if these contacts can't help, their network will include someone who definitely can.
3. Use People Closest To You
Approach those in your social circle first. Ask around and use family member's and friend's contacts. Not only will these people be the quickest to get hold of, they'll also speak highly about you to the key contacts. This exchange can also help you to learn about the field, the specific jobs, how the industry has changed or is changing, and the opportunities approaching.
By Dani Davies
Social Media and Marketing Co-ordinator
Let's face it, 2016 has been a pretty lousy year and if you're anything like me, you've secretly been playing the Michael Buble Christmas album in your car since the 1st of November. However, Christmas is still 3 weeks away, which means that's 3 weeks that can be well-spent if you're in the right mindset. This might sound tricky if your head is already filled with Christmas music and the thought of mulled wine and minced pies, but if you read up on these tips, you may find the next few weeks can be jolly and productive.
1. Make Time Count
This will obviously depend on your current work and home situation, but in the run up to Christmas every minute counts. For example, if you're working in a B2B focussed company you may expect things to be a little quieter, so now would be a great time to take care of all the admin that you didn't have time for before. Sort out your emails, folders and odd bits of paperwork so that when you come into the office in January amisdt the alcohol and food daze you'll be ready to start afresh.
On the other hand, if you're rushed off your feet, make sure the most important tasks are put at the top of your to-do list and leave the odd-jobs for when you return.
2. Take care of yourself
It's easy to get caught up in the Christmas rush; making sure you have all your presents sorted, organising who's sleeping where when they stay over on Christmas Eve and getting your boss in Secret Santa, plus keeping up with work deadlines can really take it out of you. Make sure you take the time to look after yourself! Take vitamin C and D tablets every day and get at least 7 hours of sleep every night, but most importantly remember to take things slowly!
3. Make a plan for the New Year
Although this time of year should be for celebrating (or comiserating) the year thus far, it won't hurt to plan out your first few months of the New Year. Set aside a few minutes to plan your work calendar. Keep a note of key dates in business next year and arrange meetings or lunches now. You will thank yourself for it in 2017!
4. Create a daily routine
During the working day, being a creature of habit will help you massively. Before you go home every night, create a to-do list for the next day - ticking those points off will be so satisfying, trust me. Be realistic with how much you want to achieve every day and make sure you stick to your list! Spontaneity is fun, but has no place in the work environment. Having a to-do list will help you stick to one task at a time without any distractions.
Build the to-do list around your day. For example, give yourself half an hour to an hour first thing dedicated to answering emails, then build your day up from there. You'd be surpised how much this will give you the kick start you need to a productive day.
5. Relax, you can't control everything!
Probably the most important one on this list - stay calm. This time of year is supposed to be happy and exciting, so don't panic if someone waltzes into work one morning announcing they've bought and wrapped all of their Christmas presents (these people, by the way, are the worst). Go with the flow and keep doing what you need to do. You can't control everything that happens, so if you can, minimize distractions around you, keep your head down and go with it!
Even if you only adopt one of these tips, you'll find yourself feeling rather smug this Christmas! So throw on that Christmas jumper, blast out the festive tunes and enjoy your time relaxing at home knowing that everything has been taken care of in the office. Enjoy those mince pies! And try not to be that guy at your office Christmas party...
By Dani Davies
1. Not asking questions
It's common to think interviews are a one way street - but think of them more as a discussion. Asking questions makes you look like you care about the company and are passionate about the role. If you can, ask questions throughout the interview without having to wait until the end and be asked.
2. Making it all about you
It's important to let companies know that you're a team player and that you're interested in how you can help the company rather than just yourself. Saying things like "I believe I'm the right person to move this company forward", instead of "this job is a great fit for me" makes you sound like you're genuinely passionate about working for the business instead of trying to help yourself.
3. Not doing your research
If you don't know anything about the company you're interviewing at, they'll notice. This point feeds in well with the one I made about asking questions. Refer back to a news story you read about them, or a blog post you saw on their website. It'll look good if you know your stuff and you'll be able to discuss the values of the company with the interviewee, which they'll really enjoy.
4. Talking badly about your previous company
If the interviewee asks why you left (or want to leave) your previous company, keep it short and sweet. Be civil and mature when talking about them, otherwise it'll look unprofessional. Most importantly, it could also make you look untrustworthy - how do they know you won't start bitching about them if they hired you?
5. Not showing passion
If you show passion and genuine interest in the role, an interview can actually be an enjoyable experience for both parties. Most teams in businesses are fueled by passion, so if you look unmotivated then you're not going to receive an offer. Be energetic and listen intently when being spoken to about the role and if you can, refer back to previous experience and speak about it with high spirit. Not only will that make you memorable, but it'll most likely get you offered a second interview.
By Dani Davies
Social Media and Marketing coordinator at Freshfield Services
Social media is rapidly becoming the quickest way to source talent for businesses. You may have used all of the job boards and websites you can think of, but looking for work on social media may be a completely new concept to you. With 92% of companies on social media, this may be your best option.
But all social media platforms work very differently - so what should your strategy be for each one?
Facebook doesn't have to be used just to keep in touch with old university friends or to nose at your ex girlfriend's new partner. It's also a place where 15 million businesses advertise their products and latest job vacancies. The only problem with this, is that they can't reach out to potential candidates. That's where you come in...
Personally, Twitter is my favourite social media platform. It's so easy and quick to communicate with businesses and, if used properly, can give you more news and information about companies quicker than anywhere else. Here's some tips on how to use it when looking for your dream role...
LinkedIn is the obvious first choice when it comes to job searching. How do you get the most of this platform?