Telling Your Story Online: Where Social Media Meets HR

Social media has changed the HR landscape. Social media platforms have become powerful tools for job-seeking and professional networking. But social media can be a double-edged sword. It can propel careers forward, as we’ll see in Marta Puerto’s inspiring story, or lead to unintended consequences, as highlighted by Brittany Pietsch’s experience. 

Brittany Pietsch’s Story 

Earlier this year, a TikTok video posted by Brittany Pietsch where her recorded dismissal from Cloudflare, a cybersecurity company, went viral. In the video, Brittany discusses her termination, claiming she was informed that her performance did not meet expectations despite her high activity and positive feedback from her manager.¹ 

She speculates whether the real reason for her and others’ dismissals was the company’s over-hiring. Cloudflare’s HR did not provide a specific reason for her dismissal, promising to follow up with her performance data. Brittany expressed frustration over the lack of transparency and the impersonal way her termination was executed. 

The video resonated with many viewers, leading to widespread support for Pietsch in the comments. However, it also attracted lots of criticism. On X, formerly known as Twitter, Candace Owens called Pietsch’s actions “unbelievably shortsighted” and implied they could hurt her future career prospects.² Several commentators echoed Owens’s viewpoint, portraying Pietsch’s decision to record her employer as a bad career move. 

The Risks of Oversharing 

In today’s social media-driven world, the line between transparency and oversharing can be blurry. Like the popularity of “Get Ready with Me” (GRWM) or “Day in the Life” videos, layoff video trends have been gaining a lot of traction and can be seen as an act of transparency. However, Brittany’s story shows that while sharing these layoff stories may be cathartic, divulging employment information on social media may adversely affect future employer’s decisions when they’re considering hiring you. 

1. Personal Brand 

Sharing such personal employment experiences can have a lasting impact on an individual’s professional image and personal brand. While Brittany received support, such actions can also make potential future employers question a candidate’s discretion and professionalism. After all, the number one rule in interviews is not to badmouth a past employer. 

2. Legal and Contractual Compliance 

Depending on the terms of employment and local laws, sharing sensitive or confidential information from within an employment context can lead to legal repercussions. Although Brittany’s video primarily focused on her personal reaction and did not disclose confidential company information, the act of recording without consent in certain jurisdictions or situations could pose legal risks. 

3. Professional Relationships 

This act can strain former and future professional relationships. While some viewed Brittany’s actions positively, seeing her stand up for herself, others might view such a public airing of grievances as a breach of professional etiquette, potentially affecting future networking opportunities. 

4. Public Perception 

The viral nature of such content often leads to polarized opinions in the public. While many supported Brittany, others criticized her approach, highlighting how public opinion can vary widely and impact a candidate’s professional journey. 

5. Company Reputation 

When employment disputes become public, it not only affects the individual but also the company’s image. Matthew Prince, CEO of Cloudflare responded to the viral video acknowledging the company’s imperfections in the firing process and emphasizing the need for a more compassionate approach in the future.³ While this can lead to a reevaluation of company policies and practices, it also puts the company in a defensive position in the public eye. 

 

Marta Puerto’s Creative LinkedIn Video 

Marta Puerto is a marketing manager who decided to break away from traditional resumes and cover letters, opting instead for a more unconventional method with a 1-minute and 42-second-long video that she posted on LinkedIn. In this video, she showcased her skills in five languages and ended with a playful “Free trial ended. Book an interview.” message.⁴ 

Her decision to create a video resume came from her frustration with the conventional job application process. She felt trapped in a cycle of automated rejections in the increasingly competitive and automated job market. Leveraging the power of social media and video content, she was able to bypass the traditional barriers that many job seekers face when trying to get noticed by employers. 

Social Media as a Powerful Tool for Professional Banding 

Marta’s video gained over 140,000 likes on LinkedIn and captured the attention of hundreds of potential employers. If there’s one thing this revealed, it’s that social media can be used strategically to advance your career because it provides you with: 

1. Visibility and Reach 

Social media platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram offer a global stage to showcase your skills, achievements, and professional insights. Sharing innovative content that reflects your expertise and values attracts the attention of peers, recruiters, and potential employers worldwide. 

2. Engagement and Networking Opportunities 

Unlike traditional resumes or CVs, social media allows for a two-way interaction. By engaging with others’ content and responding to comments on your own, you can build a community of like-minded professionals. This active engagement fosters networking opportunities and can lead to job offers, collaborations, and mentorship opportunities that may not have been accessible otherwise. 

3. Feedback and Growth 

The immediate feedback loop available through social media interactions is invaluable for personal and professional growth. Whether through comments, likes, or shares, the response to your content can provide insights into your audience’s preferences and perceptions, allowing you to refine your brand and messaging accordingly. 

4. Career Opportunities 

As demonstrated by Puerto’s experience, creative and strategic social media use can directly lead to job interviews and offers. In a job market increasingly influenced by online presence, a well-crafted social media presence can make you stand out from other applicants and attract job offers, freelance gigs, and collaboration opportunities. 

Striking the Right Balance: Personal Expression Vs. Professionalism 

The contrasting stories of Brittany Pietsch and Marta Puerto highlight the undeniable impact of social media on one’s career. While social media offers a platform for connection and self-expression, navigating personal branding in a professional landscape requires a strategic approach. 

Social media allows us to connect, share, and express ourselves. However, when it comes to our professional image, a bit of caution is essential. It’s great to showcase our individual personalities while still maintaining professionalism. For instance, steer clear of posting excessive content about your personal life, especially anything potentially controversial. 

Here are some best practices to help you navigate social media professionally: 

  • Maintain a respectful and professional tone in your interactions and online persona. While some humor or personal anecdotes might be okay, avoid negativity, excessive complaining, or anything that could be construed as offensive. 
  • Be mindful of what you post. Before hitting the post button, take a moment to reflect. Ask yourself if the content aligns with your professional brand and how it might be perceived by potential employers or colleagues. 
  • Adjust your privacy settings. Most social media platforms offer extensive privacy settings. Utilize them to control who sees your posts and tailor your content for appropriate audiences. Consider creating separate accounts for personal and professional use if that aligns with your comfort level. 
  • Maintain authenticity. While professionalism is key, striking a balance doesn’t mean being robotic. Let your personality shine through in a way that complements your professional image. Share insights, experiences, and interests that showcase your expertise. 

 

LEVEL UP YOUR JOB SEARCH WITH PEAK PERFORMERS! 

Juggling a job search while building a great online presence can be challenging. This is where Peak Performers can help you find suitable job opportunities—especially in IT, accounting/finance, and office/professional roles—while you focus on creating good impressions. You can start your journey with Peak through our website. 

 

References 

  1. Pietsch, Brittany. “Layoff” TikTok, Jan 2024, vm.tiktok.com/ZMMhPq2Wr/.
  2. Owens, Candace [@RealCandaceO]. “Content of the tweet.” Twitter, 14 Jan 24, twitter.com/RealCandaceO/status/1746562178482593978?s=19.
  3. Prince, Matthew [@eastdakota]. “Content of the tweet.” Twitter, 12 Jan 2024, twitter.com/eastdakota/status/1745697840180191501?s=19.
  4. Puerto, Marta. “Meet Marta: The Movie.” LinkedIn, March 2024, www.linkedin.com/posts/marta-puerto_hiremarta-productmarketing-pmm-activity-7168583881632169984-c7bI?utm_source=share&utm_medium=member_android.

10 New Year’s Resolutions to Make Your Workplace Better in 2024 

Making New Year’s resolutions is about showing how you want to grow and become a better version of yourself. The results of a study by YouGov showed that 37 percent of Americans said they had a New Year’s resolution for 2023, and 87 percent said they would likely to stick to it.¹

In the workplace, these resolutions can serve as a powerful catalyst for transformation. They aren’t just individual goals but blueprints for creating better work environments.

 

Why You Should Make New Year’s Resolutions for Work 

Embracing New Year’s resolutions for work can guide personal growth and professional development. This cultivates a proactive mindset, encouraging you to leave your comfort zone for continuous improvement. Ultimately, it contributes to a more dynamic and motivated workforce.

Additionally, here are four key advantages of setting New Year’s resolutions for work:

  1. Clear Goal Setting: Resolutions offer a structured framework to set achievable goals in alignment with your personal goals and your company’s objectives.
  1. Enhanced Motivation: Resolutions often serve as powerful motivators, inspiring you to strive for self-improvement and growth throughout the year.
  1. Focus and Engagement: Resolutions help you prioritize tasks and efforts, directing focus toward specific areas that contribute to personal and professional success.
  1. Celebrating Achievements: Resolutions offer opportunities to mark milestones, contribute to a positive work culture, and boost team morale.

 

10 Workplace New Year’s Resolutions Ideas 

As you step into the New Year, it’s essential to assess how you can contribute to making your workplace experience even better. Here are ten New Year’s resolutions tailored for you:

 

1. Learn New Tools and Platforms

Embrace the spirit of continuous learning by mastering new tools and platforms relevant to your field. Learning new tools and platforms can help things run smoother and quicker at work.

For example, project management tools can help organize tasks better, automate repetitive jobs, and ensure everything flows smoothly. This makes assigning tasks, keeping track of progress, and working together as a team more accessible.

Whether software applications, project management platforms, or innovative AI technologies, dedicating time to learning these tools and platforms can significantly boost your efficiency and effectiveness in the workplace.

 

2. Prioritize Your Mental Health

It’s essential to prioritize mental health amid the fast-paced demands of the workplace. Encouraging open conversations about mental health helps create a supportive company culture where everyone feels comfortable discussing their challenges and seeking help when needed.

Educational workshops led by professionals or hosting lunchtime sessions to discuss stress management techniques can equip you and your colleagues with valuable coping strategies. Regular short breaks throughout the workday can also positively impact mental health.

Prioritize your mental health for yourself and your colleagues to create a workplace environment that values and safeguards each team member’s mental well-being.

 

3. Work on Your Soft Skills

Enhancing soft skills such as active listening, conflict resolution, and critical thinking is crucial for professional growth to promote effective communication and collaboration in the workplace.

For example, practicing active listening during meetings or discussions is a valuable soft skill that can be honed. A conscious effort to fully concentrate, understand, respond, and remember what’s being said fosters better understanding and empathy among team members.

Related Reading: 12 Soft Skills You Need to Thrive in Today’s Workplace 

 

4. Improve Your LinkedIn Profile

Enhancing your LinkedIn account can significantly impact professional networking and career opportunities. You can start by updating your profile picture with a professional and high-quality image to create a positive first impression.

Additionally, crafting a compelling headline that reflects your expertise and career aspirations helps capture attention and defines your professional identity.

Optimize your profile to highlight your skills, experiences, achievements, and career goals. Also, tailoring your profile with relevant keywords can improve search visibility and attract potential employers and professional connections.

 

5. Prioritize Workplace Safety

Take the initiative to acquaint yourself with safety protocols and guidelines established by your company.

Stay informed by actively participating in safety training sessions or refreshers, ensuring you are updated on the latest workplace best practices, emergency procedures, and hazard identification.

When workplace safety becomes a top priority, everyone plays a role in creating a secure and healthy workspace for all.

 

6. Widen Your Professional Network

Expanding your professional network is valuable for career growth. Actively participate in industry-specific networking events, seminars, and workshops—whether in person or virtually.

In addition, engage in meaningful discussions and share invaluable insights with professionals in related or complementary fields.

Building professional relationships widens your network and offers valuable insights and diverse perspectives that can aid in career development, opening doors to significant opportunities that can shape your career trajectory.

Related Reading: Networking in 2023: Offline and Online Relationships Matter 

 

7. Find a Career Mentor

Seek a knowledgeable, supportive mentor who can guide your career journey. Start by identifying individuals within your industry or organization whose experience, expertise, and values align with your career aspirations.

Establishing a mentorship relationship involves open communication and a willingness to learn. Be proactive in seeking advice, discussing career goals, and seeking guidance on overcoming professional challenges.

By finding a career mentor, you gain valuable insights, guidance, and support that can shape the trajectory of your career in meaningful ways.

 

8. Prioritize Work-Life Balance

Being in a job that supports work-life balance is the key to happiness and productivity. Start by setting clear boundaries between work and personal time. Designate specific hours for work-related tasks and equally allocate time for personal activities, family, and relaxation.

Additionally, incorporate self-care practices into your routine, such as regular exercise, mindfulness, or hobbies that promote relaxation. Prioritizing self-care rejuvenates you and enhances your effectiveness and resilience in handling work-related challenges.

Striving for work-life balance improves overall satisfaction, mental well-being, and productivity in both personal and professional spheres.

 

9. Secure Fair Compensation

Ensuring fair compensation for your contributions is essential for professional satisfaction and financial well-being. Consider advocating for fair and equitable compensation that aligns with your skills, experience, and market value.

Understanding the current market rates for your role enables you to negotiate more effectively for fair compensation during performance reviews or when considering new job opportunities. Prepare a compelling case highlighting your accomplishments and the value you bring to the organization and engage in constructive discussions with your manager or HR department.

Furthermore, consider other aspects besides salary, such as benefits, bonuses, or professional development opportunities. Evaluating the overall compensation package ensures you receive fair and comprehensive rewards for your contributions.

By advocating for fair compensation, you contribute to a workplace culture that values the employees’ worth and ensures equitable treatment.

Related Reading: Salary Negotiation 101: A Job Seeker’s Guide to Securing Fair Compensation 

 

10. Champion Diversity and Inclusion

Advocating for diversity and inclusion in the workplace is crucial for fostering a more welcoming and equitable environment. Consider making it a priority to champion diversity and inclusion initiatives within your workplace.

Begin by deepening your understanding of the significance and advantages of diversity, both for individuals and the organization as a whole. Actively support and participate in initiatives that promote diversity, such as diversity hiring programs, mentorship opportunities for underrepresented groups, or employee resource groups.

Take a proactive stance in encouraging leadership to formulate inclusive policies and practices that acknowledge and value diversity. Advocate for equal opportunities for all employees, ensuring that workplace structures and the overall office culture embrace the richness that diverse perspectives bring.

In doing so, you contribute to a workplace where everyone feels valued, heard, and empowered to thrive.

 

ADVANCE YOUR CAREER THIS 2024 WITH PEAK PERFORMERS

Finding the perfect career path might be challenging as you set your New Year’s resolutions. That’s where Peak Performers comes in—to simplify your search and connect you with opportunities that match your aspirations.

Whether navigating a career change, seeking growth, or aiming for a more fulfilling role, we will match your unique skills and goals to new career opportunities. With our commitment to fostering inclusive workplaces, we’re dedicated to helping professionals find their ideal roles.

Embrace the New Year with enthusiasm—reach out to Peak Performers today, and let’s kickstart your journey toward a rewarding career.

 

References 

1 Sanders, Linley. “What Are Americans’ New Year’s Resolutions for 2023?” YouGov, YouGov, 29 Dec. 2022, www.today.yougov.com/society/articles/44868-americans-new-years-resolutions-2023-poll.

A Path to Unity: Celebrating December Holidays and Human Rights for a More Inclusive Year-Ender 

Thanksgiving has passed, and there’s another celebration worth highlighting: Human Rights Day.

This resource will discuss this monumental day and how it synergizes with holiday celebrations. Through this article, we hope you embrace various holidays that can be a powerful platform for promoting understanding and respect.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights 

The international community commemorates Human Rights Day every year on December 10. In 1948, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). This helps protect human rights, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, sex, disability, and other statuses.¹ Here are the 30 articles listed in the UDHR:

  1. All human beings are born free and equal.  
  1. Everyone is equal regardless of race, color, sex, language, religion, politics, or where they are born. 
  1. Everyone has the right to life and to live in freedom and safety.  
  1. Everyone has the right to be free from slavery.  
  1. Everyone has the right to be free from torture. 
  1. Everyone has the right to be recognized before the law.  
  1. We are all equal before the law.  
  1. Everyone has the right to seek justice if their rights are violated.  
  1. Everyone has the right to freedom from arbitrary arrest, detention, or exile.  
  1. Everyone has the right to a fair trial. 
  1. Everyone has the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty.  
  1. Everyone has the right to privacy and freedom from attacks on their reputation.  
  1. Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and to be free to leave and return to their own country. 
  1. Everyone has the right to seek asylum from persecution.  
  1. Everyone has the right to a nationality.  
  1. Everyone has the right to marry and to have a family.  
  1. Everyone has the right to own property. 
  1. Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion.  
  1. Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression.  
  1. Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.  
  1. Everyone has the right to take part in government and to have equal access to public service.  
  1. Everyone has the right to social security.  
  1. Everyone has the right to work, equal pay, protection against unemployment, and the right to form and join trade unions. 
  1. Everyone has the right to rest and leisure.  
  1. Everyone has the right to a decent standard of living, including food, clothing, housing, medical care, and social services. 
  1. Everyone has the right to education.  
  1. Everyone has the right to participate in and enjoy culture, art, and science. 
  1. Everyone has the right to a social and international order where the rights in this Declaration can be fully realized.  
  1. We have a duty to other people, and we should protect their rights and freedoms.  
  1. Nobody can take away these freedoms and rights from us.  

Human Rights Day: An Impactful Day of Celebration This December 

The theme for the 75th anniversary this 2023 is “Dignity, Freedom, and Justice for All.”² Celebrating Human Rights Day is important, and here is why we celebrate it every year:

To Raise Awareness

Every human being has their personal rights that need to be protected. This serves as an opportunity to educate people about their rights and those around them, creating a supportive and respectful environment for everyone.

To Promote Equality

It helps promote the idea that everyone is equal and should be treated with dignity and respect. We can take this time to celebrate diversity and recognize contributions from different walks of life.

To Advocate for Change

Many around the world are still suffering. By advocating for our rights, we establish awareness against various forms of abuse and demand justice for those whose rights have been violated.

To Honor Human Rights Defenders

Human Rights Day helps honor the works of those who defended people’s rights in the past. Some people may have risked their lives to protect their rights and everyone around them. On this day, we recognize their courage and stand with them as we look into a brighter future that these brave individuals once sparked.

Emphasizing Human Rights: Activities to Enjoy This Season 

This holiday season, remember the people around you by celebrating the beauty of our humanity and honoring our rights. Here are some activities you can take part in at work:

1. Set up a free expression wall for the whole organization.

For this activity, you can set up a giant piece of paper or canvas against a massive wall and encourage employees to write about what human rights mean to them. This can allow them to bring forward their ideas, concerns, and feelings about their situation.

Encourage employees to read what their peers have written to help them understand what others think and what their lived experiences are.

2. Start a social media campaign.

You can encourage your employees to talk about their struggles and how they sought justice.

You may ask them to choose a format they will be comfortable sharing their story through, such as Facebook Live, social media posts, stories, or email newsletters. Remember to use related hashtags to help your posts appear on the feeds of interested people. You can use hashtags like #HumanRightsDay, #StandUp4HumanRights, or #UDHR75.

3. Arrange a networking event to boost connections.

This is to bring people from different organizations closer. This event allows people to share ideas and collaborate on initiatives. It would be best to choose a venue that’s easily accessible to the people you’ll invite to ensure most of them can attend.

Prepare activities encouraging attendees to connect, like icebreakers, group discussions, and workshops. You can invite speakers to share their experiences and insights on human rights issues.

You can encourage them to connect by providing opportunities to communicate by setting up an area where attendees can exchange business cards and contact information.

4. Host human rights conferences.

If you wish to educate your employees about the issues we face today, you may organize human rights conferences where they can gain access to various topics and discussions. Here are some subjects you may discuss:

5. Organize an activism summit.

Statista surveyed 3,227 Gen Z respondents about which social issues they consider important.³ Here are a few related to human rights that were highlighted:

  • 88% guaranteeing quality education for every child
  • 86% preserving individual rights and freedoms
  • 85% ensuring greater access to healthcare
  • 78% addressing systemic racism
  • 74% safeguarding the rights of vulnerable populations

Help your employees put their values into action by organizing an activism summit. You can invite leading activists to discuss their advocacies and inspire your members. Encourage discussions to teach your employees to speak up about what is important to them and help them develop actionable plans.

Humanity deserves celebration this Human Rights Day 

The UDHR started a global initiative, and we can help the progress continue through commemorations and education.

This Human Rights Day and holiday season, take this time to talk to your colleagues and loved ones about their rights and how to protect them and others.

CELEBRATE HUMAN RIGHTS BEYOND DECEMBER WITH THE HELP OF PEAK PERFORMERS

Human rights can be commemorated and celebrated from Human Rights Day and beyond. You can do this by hiring inclusively and welcoming diverse candidates into your organization. Let Peak Performers help you by connecting you with top candidates with disabilities.

We have 28 years of experience and 99 percent customer satisfaction in matching the right people with their best employers. Let us know if you need to fill temporary, direct hire, or executive roles in engineering, technology services, government, or finance.

Get in touch with us today and start expanding your teams.

References 

1. “Title.” Amnesty International, www.amnesty.org/universal-declaration-of-human-rights. 21 Nov. 2023.

2. “The Universal Declaration of Human Rights Turns 75.” United Nations, 2023, www.ohchr.org/en/get-involved/campaign/udhr-75.

3. “Thinking about the Kind of America in Which You Want to Live, How Important Are the following Issues to You Right Now?” Statista, 13 Oct. 2023, www.statista.com/gen-z-perspective-on-social-issues-us.

NDEAM 2023: Debunking 18 Common Myths About Allyship  

October marks National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), a time when we celebrate the contributions of workers with disabilities and acknowledge the importance of creating inclusive workplaces. A significant aspect of fostering inclusivity is allyship, which involves individuals using their privilege to support marginalized colleagues.

In this article, we’ll debunk common myths about allyship in the workplace for individuals with disabilities to help you be a better ally.

Debunking 18 Myths on Allyship 

Myth 1: Allyship is Only About Being Supportive

While support is a key aspect of an allyship, allyship goes beyond offering a sympathetic ear. Allyship involves taking steps to challenge and change the systemic barriers individuals with disabilities face in the workplace.

Allyship is using your influence to advocate for accessible facilities, promote inclusive policies, and lobby for equitable hiring practices. Allyship is not just a passive gesture; it’s an ongoing commitment.

Myth 2: Allyship Means Speaking for Others

One of the most counterproductive myths about allyship is that allies should speak on behalf of individuals with disabilities. This assumption can inadvertently silence the voices of people with disabilities and perpetuate the misconception that they need to be spoken for.

Effective allyship involves amplifying their voices, not speaking over them.

Instead of assuming what people with disabilities need, engage in open conversations, listen to their experiences, and encourage them to speak out. Learn from them and collaborate on solutions to build a more disability-inclusive workplace.

Related Article: ‘Ally’ Is a Verb: 8 Ways to Practice Allyship at Work 

Myth 3: Allyship Requires Grand Gestures

Allyship doesn’t require grand displays of activism. While public demonstrations and campaigns can be impactful, everyday actions matter just as much.

Simple acts like using people-first language, respecting personal boundaries, and creating accessible work technology contribute to a more inclusive workplace.¹ Consistent, small actions build the foundation of trust and respect, demonstrating to individuals with disabilities that they are valued.

Myth 4: Allyship is a One-Time Effort

Effective allyship is an ongoing journey. Initiating change and creating an inclusive environment requires sustained effort and continuous learning.

Seek to educate yourself about the challenges faced by individuals with disabilities and stay updated on best practices for inclusion. Periodically check in with your colleagues to ensure your actions are helpful and respectful.

Myth 5: Allyship is Always Comfortable

Allyship often involves stepping out of your comfort zone. Addressing discrimination, bias, and ableism can be uncomfortable, but it’s necessary for progress.

Challenging colleagues or superiors when they make inappropriate comments or exclude individuals with disabilities requires courage and some risk to your reputation. Allies are willing to speak out, despite the risk, to ensure that the workplace becomes an inclusive and supportive space for everyone.

Myth 6: Allyship is a Selfless Act

Allyship is not solely selfless; it’s also about mutual benefit to people without disabilities. An inclusive workplace fosters creativity, drives innovation, and amplifies diverse perspectives. When individuals with disabilities are empowered to fully participate at work, the entire team enjoys the rewards.

Myth 7: Allyship Requires Perfection

Allyship is a learning process, and nobody is perfect. When beginning your disability inclusion journey, you will periodically say or do the wrong thing. How you respond to feedback and focus on doing better next time matters. Take responsibility, apologize when necessary, and seek to rectify your mistakes.

Myth 8: Allyship is Limited to Individuals with Disabilities

Allyship extends beyond specific identity groups. The principles of allyship can be applied to various marginalized communities. By understanding and advocating for the intersectional nature of discrimination, you can become an ally to multiple groups. For example, being an ally to individuals with disabilities also involves addressing issues related to gender, race, sexual orientation, and more.

Myth 9: Allyship Doesn’t Impact Company Culture

Allyship has a significant impact on company culture. When employees witness colleagues actively engaging in an allyship, it sets a precedent for inclusivity. It encourages open dialogue, empathy, and a sense of belonging. Conversely, the absence of allyship can perpetuate a culture of exclusion, leading to lower morale and decreased productivity.

Related Article: Set the Right Foundations: What is Belonging in the Workplace? 

Myth 10: Allyship Is a One-Size-Fits-All Approach

Allyship is different for every person. The needs and preferences of individuals with disabilities vary greatly, and effective allyship requires flexibility.

What is appreciated by one person may not be appreciated by another. It’s crucial to engage in open conversations and ask for guidance on how you can best support your colleagues. Tailoring your approach to each person ensures your efforts are genuinely supportive and impactful.

Myth 11: Allyship Requires Formal Training

While formal training on diversity and inclusion can be beneficial, allyship doesn’t require a certificate or college degree. It begins with a genuine desire to understand and support individuals with disabilities.

Watching disability inclusion videos, reading articles by people with disabilities, and engaging in conversations with coworkers who have disabilities enables you to learn about their experiences. What matters most is your willingness to listen, learn, and apply your knowledge to seek positive change.

Myth 12: Allyship Is About “Fixing” Individuals with Disabilities

Allyship is not about viewing individuals with disabilities as broken or needing fixing. They are whole, capable people who are seeking normal work and life experience. You don’t know what’s best for them. While often well-meaning, recommending a “fix” for their condition will often be perceived negatively.  Focus on listening, exercising empathy, and building an environment at work where they can feel included and heard.

Myth 13: Allyship Is Too Time-Consuming

Effective allyship doesn’t require a significant time investment. Small, consistent actions make a difference. Practice empathy with coworkers and advocate for accessibility and disability inclusion when given an opportunity.   Over time, these actions accumulate and contribute to a more inclusive workplace.

Myth 14: Allyship Is Only for Leaders

Allyship is not exclusive to those in leadership roles. Every individual within an organization can play a role in creating an inclusive environment. Whether you’re a manager, colleague, or intern, your actions and perspective impact the workplace culture. Empathy and advocacy can go a long way in making someone feel valued and respected.

Myth 15: Allyship Is a “Trend”

Allyship is not a passing trend; it’s a fundamental shift towards equity and inclusion. As society becomes more aware of the importance of diversity, allyship becomes increasingly relevant. However, genuine allyship goes beyond performative actions driven by trends. It’s about sustaining efforts to create lasting change in how we perceive and treat individuals with disabilities.

Myth 16: Allyship Is Exclusively Emotional Support

Emotional support can be part of an allyship. After all, we would like an empathetic ear when we’re having a bad day. Effective allies go beyond empathy and work to dismantle barriers, push for changes, and advocate for equal access to opportunities. A well-rounded ally provides both emotional support and tangible actions that lead to systemic improvements.

Myth 17: Allyship Is Just About Being Nice

While kindness is expected, allyship requires more than just being nice. It involves confronting biases, acknowledging privilege, and advocating for meaningful change. Being an ally might involve uncomfortable conversations and difficult discussions. These are necessary steps to challenge the status quo and create a fairer workplace.

Myth 18: Allyship Guarantees Instant Results

Allyship is a long-term commitment, and change doesn’t happen overnight. While your efforts as an ally can lead to favorable shifts, remaining patient and persistent is important. The impact of your actions might not be immediately visible, but your consistent support contributes to a gradual transformation in the workplace culture.

The Real Meaning of Being an Ally 

Ultimately, allyship in the workplace for individuals with disabilities is not about fulfilling a checklist; it’s about embodying principles that promote fairness, respect, and inclusion.

By actively challenging misconceptions, we can pave the way for change and foster environments where everyone can thrive. Allyship is a continuous journey of growth, learning, and advocacy—a journey well worth taking.

BE A TRUE ALLY TODAY WITH PEAK PERFORMERS

Your journey as an ally starts here—with a team that values diversity and amplifies many unique perspectives. By partnering with a staffing firm that’s committed to disability hiring like Peak Performers, you’re working to create a professional landscape that’s more inclusive, equitable, and welcoming for everyone.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you advance your DEI goals.

References 

1. “People First Language” GCDD, gcdd.org/people-first-language. 20 Sep. 2023.

2. “Intersectionality and Multiple Discrimination” Council of Europe, www.coe.int/intersectionality-and-multiple-discrimination. 20 Sep. 2023.

Seal the Deal: Crafting the Perfect Response to “Why Should We Hire You?”  

Among the many interview questions that you’re likely to encounter, one that often causes candidates to pause and ponder is the classic, “Why should we hire you?”

This seemingly straightforward question can make or break your interview. In this article, we will help you craft a response that resonates with employers and showcases your genuine potential.

Why Hiring Managers Ask, “Why Should We Hire You?” 

When employers ask this interview question, they want to:

  • See if you’ve done your homework about the company.
  • Verify that you understand the role you’re applying for.
  •  Gauge how confident you are in your abilities.
  • Understand how well you align with their culture, values, and company.

This is an invitation to pitch yourself, summarize why you’re an excellent fit for the position, and what unique value you bring.

How to Prepare, Craft, and Answer This Question? 

The key to crafting a successful response to this interview question is through preparation, understanding the company’s needs, showcasing your unique value, and delivering your answer confidently and authentically.

1. Align your response with the job requirements

Begin by studying the job description. Identify the essential skills, qualifications, and attributes the company seeks. Your response should emphasize how your background, experience, and skills align perfectly with these requirements.

For instance, if the job requires strong project management skills, you could highlight a successful project you led that showcases your ability to manage teams and deliver results within deadlines.

2. Showcase your accomplishments

Think about your professional journey and highlight your most significant accomplishments. These could be projects you’ve completed, awards you’ve received, or challenges you’ve overcome. Frame these accomplishments in a way that demonstrates your skills.

You may have accomplished many things throughout your career, however, not all of these can be used to highlight your skills. Focus on the ones that directly relate to the job you’re interviewing for.

3. Highlight your unique skills and strengths

What makes you unique from other candidates? Find the answer to this question and showcase what sets you apart. It could be your diverse combination of skills, depth of industry knowledge, or fresh perspective that you bring.

Share anecdotes illustrating these strengths and how they can contribute to the company’s success. If you’re an excellent problem solver, provide an example of a complex problem you tackled and the positive outcomes that resulted from your solution.

4. Back your claims with evidence

It’s also essential to provide evidence and concrete examples to make your response more credible.

Instead of merely saying you’re a great communicator, share an example of how your communication skills led to improved teamwork, clearer project instructions, or better client relationships. Try to frame this in the form of a story that will be easy to remember and then, if available, use specific numbers to quantify that success, such as “had 15% higher than average customer service reviews.”

5. Focus on problem solving

Employers often seek problem solvers or individuals who can identify issues, develop practical solutions, and drive positive change. You can look at different angles, like the industry or the company’s needs, challenges, goals, and recent achievements. You can use this information to tailor your response and show how your skills can directly address their needs. This demonstrates that you’ve done your homework.

If you’re unsure, ask the hiring manager or recruiter about the company’s goals and recent challenges. They might just tell you.

6. Keep practicing

Practicing your response multiple times will help you deliver it confidently during the interview. Ask the help of a friend or family member to conduct mock interviews and provide feedback. Pay attention to your tone, body language, and delivery of your response.

7. Express enthusiasm

Passion is contagious—express excitement for the role and the company. Enthusiasm makes you a more appealing candidate. If you’re genuinely excited about the company’s products or services, let that shine through in your response.

Additionally, if the company has a mission statement, read this ahead of time and express your alignment and personal connection with their mission.

Additional Tips and Best Practices to Help You Ace Your Interview 

Here are a few other things to keep in mind when going through an interview:

1. Be specific and quantify your achievements

Rather than speaking in vague terms, provide specific examples of your achievements and quantify them whenever possible. Numbers and specific results add credibility to your claims.

Instead of saying, “I improved team efficiency,” say, “I implemented a new process that reduced project turnaround time by 30%.”

2. Be concise and focused

Keep your response concise and focused. Rambling or going off on tangents can dilute the impact of your message. Aim to deliver your response within 2-3 minutes while maintaining the key points.

3. Focus on yourself instead of the other candidates

Focus on highlighting your strengths and achievements rather than comparing yourself to other candidates. The goal is to present yourself as a unique individual who brings value in your own right.

4. Practice humble confidence

Confidence is important but be sure to balance confidence and humility. Instead of sounding arrogant, emphasize your abilities while acknowledging your eagerness to learn and grow within the role.

5. Stay authentic

While preparing and structuring your response is critical, don’t lose sight of your authenticity. Be genuine in your enthusiasm, examples, and stories. Authenticity is what truly connects with interviewers and sets you apart from others.

6. Manage Body Language

If you can, maintain eye contact with the interviewer and use positive body language.¹ A confident and engaged demeanor further reinforces the credibility of your response. If you have a virtual interview, sit in the center of the screen and focus on the camera. If you’re doing a phone interview, speak a little louder and more clearly than what feels natural, and make sure you’re in a quiet space.

Related Article: Virtual Interviews: Essential Tips and Tricks for Jobseekers 

7. Listen and adapt

Pay attention to the interviewer’s reactions as you speak. If they seem particularly interested in a specific aspect of your response, you can choose to elaborate further on that point. Likewise, if they appear to have concerns, be ready to address them with explanations.

8. Prepare follow-up questions

After presenting your response, be ready to ask insightful follow-up questions. This demonstrates your genuine interest in the role and allows further discussion. Thoughtful questions can also give you more insight into the company’s needs, allowing you to tailor your responses accordingly.

Related Article: Asking questions in an interview 

Putting It All Together: Sample Responses You Can Use as a Template 

Let’s bring it together with a few sample answers tailored to different scenarios and job roles.

1. Project Management

“I’m confident that my track record of effectively managing complex projects, combined with my natural leadership abilities, aligns perfectly with the requirements of this position. I recently led a team through a challenging task that required quick decision-making and resource allocation.

As a result, we met the deadline and exceeded client expectations, resulting in a 15% increase in customer satisfaction. My strong communication skills and ability to manage stakeholder expectations will enable me to ensure the seamless execution of projects at your organization.”

2. Marketing

“I believe my experience in digital marketing, coupled with my strategic mindset, makes me a strong candidate for this role. In my previous position, I successfully executed a data-driven marketing campaign that resulted in a 40 percent increase in website traffic and a 25 percent boost in conversion rates.

I’m excited about the opportunity to leverage my creativity to develop innovative marketing strategies that align with your brand’s vision. My passion for staying ahead of industry trends and collaborating cross-functionally will allow me to contribute positively to your team’s growth.”

3. Software Engineering

“My passion for coding and problem-solving has led me to thrive in software engineering roles. In my previous job, I was responsible for developing a critical module that significantly improved the performance of our application, reducing loading times by 50%.

I have a strong foundation in multiple programming languages and a proven ability to collaborate seamlessly with cross-functional teams. Your company’s reputation for innovation aligns perfectly with my desire to tackle challenging coding projects and contribute to developing cutting-edge software.”

READY TO TEST YOUR SKILLS AND ANSWER HARD QUESTIONS?

If you’re looking for the right organization to work for, Peak Performers is here to help!

We understand the challenges you face in today’s competitive landscape and are here to help. Whether you’re seeking accounting, IT, or marketing, we’ll connect you with opportunities that align with your skills, aspirations, and values.

Contact us today  to start a conversation.

References 

1. “Positive Body Language with Examples” Harappa, 6 Jan. 2021, harappa.education/positive-body-language-with-examples.

12 Soft Skills You Need to Thrive in Today’s Workplace  

In today’s workplace, possessing technical skills alone is insufficient to excel in your career. Employers are increasingly looking for candidates with diverse soft skills that complement their technical expertise.

In this article, we will explore 12 essential soft skills you need to thrive in today’s workplace.

What Are Soft Skills and Hard Skills? 

Soft skills are personal attributes and abilities that enable individuals to interact effectively and professionally with others. They are essential for building strong work relationships, fostering teamwork, and adapting to the dynamic nature of modern businesses. These are transferrable skills like teamwork, leadership, compliance, ability to work on deadlines, communication and so on.

On the other hand, hard skills are technical know-how or skills required to accomplish tasks. Usually, people learn these skills through education, experience, and observation of those who already have the skills. Unlike soft skills, these skills are not easily transferable since not every function and industry require the same set of skills to operate. These skills are IT knowledge with specific IT expertise, accounting and finance, project management and operational know-how in specific industries, engineering and architecture.

Do Employers Seek Soft Skills as Much as Hard or Technical Skills? 

According to a survey by LinkedIn, 92 percent of HR professionals and hiring managers believe that having strong soft skills is crucial for candidates. In fact, these soft skills could be the deciding factor in hiring the right candidate. This survey found that 89 percent of hiring managers think that candidates with weak, soft skills are more likely to turn out to be “bad hires.”1

Unlike technical or hard skills, which are specific and job-related, soft skills are transferable and can be applied across different roles and industries. By continuously developing these skills, you can differentiate yourself from the competition, build strong relationships, and be more likely to get promoted.

Soft skills are not static; they can be cultivated and refined over time, making them a valuable investment in your personal and professional development.

Top 12 In-demand Soft Skills in the Workplace Today 

The modern workplace demands more than technical skills and qualifications. Soft skills play a critical role in shaping successful careers and thriving in the dynamic business landscape. As the job market evolves, employers seek to have employees who possess the following skills on their team:

1. Communication Skills

Arguably the most crucial soft skill in any workplace is effective communication. This skill goes beyond simply conveying information; it involves actively listening, understanding others’ perspectives, and expressing ideas clearly and professionally. Communication skills enable you to collaborate with colleagues, managers, and clients. It also helps prevent misunderstandings and conflicts.

In today’s digital age, communication occurs through various channels like email, instant messaging, video calls, and social media. Adeptly navigating these platforms and understanding the nuances of written and verbal communication is essential.

2. Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence (EI) refers to the ability to recognize, understand, and manage one’s own emotions and those of others. High EI is associated with empathy, self-awareness, adaptability, and strong interpersonal skills. Being emotionally intelligent allows you to handle workplace challenges with composure, build empathy toward colleagues, and effectively manage conflicts.

3. Adaptability and Flexibility

In a rapidly changing work landscape, being adaptable and flexible is vital for staying relevant and successful. Industries are constantly evolving due to technological advancements, market fluctuations, and global events. Individuals who can embrace change and quickly adjust their approach to new situations are highly valued by employers.

Adaptability allows you to take on new challenges, learn new skills, and thrive in uncertain environments. Additionally, showcasing a positive attitude towards change inspires confidence in your ability to lead and navigate others through transformations.

4. Time Management

Time is a precious resource, and effective time management is crucial for maintaining productivity and achieving goals. Employees who prioritize tasks, set realistic deadlines, and avoid procrastination are more likely to excel in their roles.

With numerous responsibilities and deadlines in a modern workplace, time management ensures that you can meet commitments efficiently without feeling overwhelmed. It also demonstrates your reliability and professionalism, leaving a positive impression on your colleagues and supervisors.

5. Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving

Critical thinking involves analyzing information objectively and making informed decisions based on evidence and logic. Employees with strong critical thinking skills can assess complex situations, identify potential challenges, and devise innovative solutions.

Problem-solving goes hand-in-hand with critical thinking. It involves finding resolutions to challenges that arise. Being a proactive problem solver allows you to contribute to your team and positively impact the organization’s overall success.

6. Teamwork and Collaboration

In today’s interconnected world, teamwork and collaboration have become integral to workplace success. Whether working on a project with colleagues from different departments or collaborating remotely with team members in different time zones, the ability to work cohesively as part of a team is highly valued.

Effective teamwork involves active communication, respect for diverse perspectives, and a willingness to share responsibilities and credit for success.

7. Leadership and Influence

Leadership is not limited to managerial positions; it can be demonstrated at any level of an organization. Good leaders inspire and influence others positively, guiding their teams toward achieving shared objectives.

Strong leadership involves effective communication, setting clear goals, providing feedback, and leading by example. Cultivating leadership skills showcases  your ability to motivate and mentor others.

8. Conflict Resolution

Conflict is inevitable in any workplace, but effective conflict resolution can prevent escalation and maintain a professional atmosphere. Employees who can handle conflicts constructively, listen to all parties and work to find solutions that satisfy everyone involved. Conflict resolution skills contribute to better team dynamics and help organizations navigate challenging situations while minimizing disruptions.

9. Networking and Relationship Building

Networking allows you to gain new perspectives, opportunities, and industry insights. It can also lead to potential collaborations or future career advancements.

Active networking involves attending industry events, engaging with peers online and offline, and maintaining genuine connections. Building relationships opens doors to exciting prospects and strengthens your professional reputation.

10. Resilience

The modern workplace can be demanding and challenging, leading to stressful situations and setbacks. Resilience is the ability to bounce back from setbacks and maintain a positive outlook.

Resilient individuals can cope with failures, learn from their mistakes, and keep projects on track . Demonstrating resilience shows your ability to handle pressure and inspires confidence in your colleagues and leaders.

11. Positive Attitude

Maintaining a positive attitude can impact your workplace experience and productivity. It allows you to stay optimistic and see obstacles as opportunities for growth. A positive attitude doesn’t only boost your energy but also influences and motivates those around you.

12. Accountability and Responsibility

Taking ownership of one’s actions and being accountable for outcomes is a sign of a reliable and trustworthy employee. Individuals who demonstrate responsibility can be counted on to meet deadlines, admit mistakes, and take corrective action when needed. Accountability fosters a culture of integrity and reliability, earning the respect and trust of colleagues and superiors alike.

ELEVATE YOUR JOB SEARCH WITH THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF HELP

At Peak Performers, we believe that every individual possesses unique talents and abilities that can contribute to a thriving workplace. Our dedicated team of professionals is here to support you throughout your job search, providing personalized guidance and matching you with employers who prioritize diversity and embrace the value of your soft skills.

Whether you’re a seasoned professional or just starting your career, our inclusive approach to talent acquisition ensures that your abilities and strengths are recognized and celebrated. Contact us to learn more about how we can help.

References 

1. “LinkedIn Releases 2019 Global Talent Trends Report” LinkedIn Pressroom, 28 January 2019, https://news.linkedin.com/2019/January/linkedin-releases-2019-global-talent-trends-report

Networking in 2023: Offline and Online Relationships Matter 

In today’s interconnected professional landscape, the power of networking cannot be underestimated. It has become a vital skill that can open doors, foster collaborations, and propel career growth.

However, successful networking goes beyond merely exchanging business cards at events. It hinges on building meaningful relationships that stand the test of time and serves as a foundation for professional success.

In this article, we provide practical and effective networking tips that can help you establish genuine connections, expand your network, and unlock exciting opportunities that can propel your career to new heights.

What Is Networking and Why Is It So Important? 

Networking is the process of creating and nurturing relationships with other professionals and individuals in your field of interest or industry. It involves actively engaging with others, whether in person or online, to build a mutually beneficial connection. And it is important for several reasons:

1. Opportunities

According to Zippa, Networking has been instrumental in securing the current employment of approximately 70% of individuals.¹

Networking helps professionals to expand their opportunities for career growth, job prospects, and business ventures. Connecting with a diverse range of individuals increases your chances of learning about new job openings, projects, collaborations, and partnerships.

 2. Knowledge and Learning

Networking allows professionals to gain valuable insights, knowledge, and expertise from others in their field. Imagine engaging in conversations, attending industry events, or participating in professional groups. These activities can expose you to new ideas, industry trends, and best practices.

 3. Collaboration and Support

Networking provides a platform for collaboration and support. You can find potential mentors, advisors, and partners who can guide you, share their experiences, and support your professional journey. Building a solid network can lead to mutually beneficial relationships where professionals help and support each other.

 4. Reputation and Visibility

Networking helps professionals build their reputation and increase their visibility within their industry. When you actively engage with others and contribute to discussions, you become known for your expertise and thought leadership. This can lead to increased recognition, career advancements, and opportunities for speaking engagements or thought leadership positions.

How Can You Start Networking? 

Starting networking can seem daunting, but with a strategic approach and some key steps, you can begin building your professional network. Here are some networking tips to help you get started:

1. Define your goals.

Clarify what you want to achieve through networking. Setting clear goals will guide your networking efforts. Are you seeking:

  • Career opportunities
  • Mentorship
  • Industry knowledge
  • Specific connections

 

2. Leverage existing contacts.

Start by reaching out to your current contacts, such as colleagues, classmates, friends, or family members. Inform them about your professional interests and ask if they can introduce you to individuals in your target industry or connect you with relevant networking events or groups.

3. Attend industry events.

Participate in conferences, workshops, seminars, and job fairs related to your field. These events offer excellent opportunities to meet professionals, exchange ideas, and expand your knowledge. Be proactive in engaging with others, ask questions, and collect contact information for follow-up.

4. Utilize online platforms.

Leverage social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Slack, and professional forums to connect with professionals in your field. Consistency is key on social media. Share content regularly, engage with others’ posts, and stay active within your network. You can do this by creating a compelling and professional online presence and joining relevant groups.

  • Comment on posts or ask thoughtful questions.
  • Share relevant insights related to your industry or area of expertise.
  • Keep an eye out for virtual events, webinars, or live streams.
  • Use direct messages to initiate more personalized conversations.
  • Ask for advice and explore collaboration opportunities.
  • Ask connections do to a virtual coffee to deepen the relationship.

 

By being consistent and active, you increase your visibility, stay on others’ radars, and create opportunities for networking and collaboration.

5. Seek mentorship.

Mentors can provide valuable guidance and support in your professional journey. Look for experienced professionals in your field who can offer knowledge and advice. Approach them respectfully, explaining your interest in their expertise, and request their mentorship or occasional guidance.

6. Offer assistance and value.

Networking is a two-way street. It’s not just about what you can get but also about what you can offer. Be proactive in offering assistance by sharing relevant resources or providing support to others in your network. Actively listen to their needs and find ways to contribute value.

Building a reputation as a helpful and resourceful professional can strengthen your network.

What Skills Do You Need to Network? 

Networking requires a combination of interpersonal, communication, and relationship-building skills. Here are some essential skills that can enhance your networking abilities:

1. Communication and Active Listening Skills

Develop strong verbal and written communication skills to articulate your thoughts clearly, actively listen to others, and engage in meaningful conversations. Be concise, confident, and adaptable in your communication style.

2. Relationship Building

Networking is about establishing and nurturing relationships. Develop relationship-building skills, including empathy, trustworthiness, and the ability to connect with people on a personal level. Show genuine interest in others, remember details about them, and find common ground to build rapport.

3. Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence involves understanding and managing your emotions and being aware of others’ emotions. It helps you navigate social interactions, read non-verbal cues, and respond appropriately.

4. Personal Branding

Presenting yourself professionally and authentically is crucial in networking. Develop a strong personal brand that reflects your skills, expertise, and values. Maintain a positive online presence, including a well-crafted LinkedIn profile and a professional website if applicable. Use these platforms to consistently communicate your value proposition and unique strengths.

5. Networking Etiquette

Respect others’ time, be courteous, and adhere to professional standards. Be mindful of cultural differences and adapt your approach accordingly. Networking events often have specific norms and expectations, so familiarize yourself with appropriate behavior in different contexts.

How Can I Network as an Introvert? 

Networking isn’t solely about extroverted socializing. It’s about building relationships, sharing knowledge, and creating mutually beneficial connections.

While extroverts are often inclined to meet people, this is not the same for introverts, who may not naturally gravitate toward social connections. Here are some strategies to help you navigate networking as an introvert:

1. Focus On Quality Over Quantity

Instead of trying to meet a large number of people, prioritize building deeper connections with a few individuals. Seek out smaller networking events or one-on-one meetings where you can engage in more meaningful conversations.

Quality connections can significantly impact your professional growth more than a vast network of superficial contacts.

2. Prepare and Research

Before attending an event or meeting, research the attendees and prepare an elevator pitch. Having some background knowledge or specific topics to discuss can boost your confidence and make conversations flow smoothly.

3. Find Common Interests

Look for shared interests or common ground when engaging in conversations. This can serve as a starting point and help you connect with others on a deeper level. Introverts often thrive in conversations that revolve around specific topics of interest rather than engaging in small talk.

4. Volunteer or Join Committees

Engaging in activities where you can contribute and work alongside others can effectively build meaningful connections. Consider volunteering for industry-related events or joining committees or task forces within professional associations. Working together on a common goal allows for more organic and profound networking opportunities.

5. Network One-On-One

If big events or group settings are intimidating, focus on establishing individual connections. Reach out to professionals you admire or want to learn from and request a one-on-one meeting or informational interview. These one-on-one interactions can be less overwhelming for introverts and provide a platform for more in-depth conversations.

How to Follow Up With a Contact After Networking 

Effective networking doesn’t end after the initial interaction. It requires following up with contacts, expressing gratitude, and nurturing relationships over time. Here are six networking tips to help you boost and solidify the relationship you’ve made:

1. Keep Connecting

Reference specific points discussed, any common interests or shared experiences, and express your appreciation for the conversation.

Start your follow-up message by expressing gratitude for the person’s time, insights, or any specific help they provided during your conversation. Show sincere appreciation for their willingness to engage with you and share their expertise.

2. Don’t Wait Up

Aim to follow up within a few days of the initial interaction while the conversation and context are still fresh in both parties’ minds.

3. Get Back to the Conversation

Briefly recap the key points or takeaways from your conversation to refresh their memory. This reinforces the value of your discussion and shows you were actively listening. If you discussed any action items or follow-up tasks during your conversation, remind them and express your intention to follow through.

4. Give More Input

Offer something of value to the contact as a way to contribute and continue the relationship. This can be sharing an article, resource, or relevant information that aligns with their interests or needs. Providing value demonstrates your willingness to be helpful and fosters reciprocity in the relationship.

5. Suggest Reconnection

Propose potential next steps or future engagements to keep the connection alive. This shows your proactive approach and enthusiasm for maintaining the relationship.

It could be suggesting a meeting or call to explore collaboration opportunities, offering to introduce them to someone in your network who may benefit them, or mentioning upcoming industry events where you may cross paths again.

6. Keep the Lines Open

Stay in touch periodically by reaching out to them and checking in to see how they’re doing. You can also share relevant updates, articles, or other resources. Cultivating the relationship over time is pivotal in developing a strong professional network.

AFTER NETWORKING, IT’S TIME TO CONNECT WITH PEAK PERFORMERS

If you’re seeking the next employment opportunity, Peak Performers can help you discover several jobs you might love. Especially for people with disabilities, we work passionately to connect qualified candidates with the right employers.

We believe that with the right network, skills, and determination, you’ll have everything you need to pursue your dreams. Contact us today  to learn more about us and how we can help you!

Reference 

1. Flynn, Jack. “25+ Important Networking Statistics [2023]: The Power of Connections in the Workplace” Zippia, 23 Feb. 2023, https://www.zippia.com/advice/networking-statistics/.

The Employed Job Seeker’s Dilemma: Can You Reach Out to a Recruiter?  

The question of whether it is acceptable to engage with recruiters while currently employed is something that most professionals ponder. It’s a topic that often stirs up mixed emotions, as it makes you weigh the potential benefits against the perceived risks.

However, embracing the idea of maintaining a conversation with recruiters while employed can be advantageous in many ways. So, going back to the question, the answer is a solid yes. But before that, let’s see what recruiters actually do.

Who is a Recruiter? 

You probably know what most recruiters do; hire new employees. They connect job seekers to companies with employment opportunities. But it goes beyond that.

Their primary role is to link candidates with the company they want to join by aligning the company’s job requirements, values, mission, and vision with the candidate’s skills and experiences. They typically work closely with hiring managers and human resource departments to understand the organization’s specific needs and develop strategies to attract suitable candidates.

They source, screen, and select potential candidates through various methods, like job postings, networking, and direct outreach, to identify potential candidates. Then they evaluate their qualifications, skills, and fit for the position through interviews, assessments, and reference checks.

It’s a long process, but ultimately, recruiters, or what we call “talent placement specialists” or “talent sourcing specialists” here at Peak Performers, act as a bridge between candidates and employers, ensuring a smooth and efficient recruitment experience for both parties involved.

Is It Okay to Reach Out to Recruiters While You’re Employed? 

As we’ve already revealed, yes (of course!), it’s generally acceptable to talk to recruiters while you are currently employed.

In fact, it can be beneficial to explore job opportunities and engage in conversations with recruiters even if you are not actively looking for a new job. Here are a few reasons why it can be a good idea:

1. Access to professional networks.

Recruiters typically have extensive networks of professionals within various industries. By connecting with them, you can expand your network and gain access to a broader community of professionals. This can open doors to new connections, mentors, and potential collaborations, which can positively impact your career growth and opportunities.

2. Staying informed about the job market.

Engaging with recruiters doesn’t necessarily mean you are actively looking for a new job. It simply means that you are proactively gathering information, exploring options, and staying aware of the opportunities that may arise. Recruiters are well-connected people who constantly interact with candidates and employers.

They are on top of anything new in the job market, and they can provide valuable insights into the changing demands of employers, emerging job roles, in-demand technologies, or specialized areas of expertise that may be relevant to your career trajectory.

They can also offer insights into which industries are expanding, which organizations are hiring, or which companies are looking to introduce new products or services. This information can help you identify potential growth areas to plan your career accordingly.

3. Exploring potential career options.

Engaging with recruiters can also give you a broader perspective on your career trajectory. By exploring different career options, you can assess whether there are opportunities for advancement or new challenges that may be more fulfilling and rewarding. It can help you identify potential career paths you may have overlooked and expand your understanding of the possibilities beyond your current position.

Recruiters can provide firsthand information about the skills and experiences that are in demand for different roles, helping you assess whether you possess the necessary qualifications or if there are areas you need to develop further. This knowledge can help you make strategic decisions about whether to adapt with an evolving industry or acquire new skills and transition to a different field.

4. Increased bargaining power.

Recruiters have insights into salary ranges, benefits, and other incentives companies provide to attract suitable candidates. Engaging with them gives you a better understanding of your market value and the compensation packages being offered in your industry.

With this information, you can position yourself as a more informed and competitive professional when it comes to negotiations within your current organization or when you begin an active search for new opportunities.

5. Building a support network.

Recruiters can act as mentors or advisors who can provide valuable guidance on various aspects of your career. They may offer feedback on your resume, interview tips, or suggestions for improving your professional profile. By leveraging their expertise and experience, you can enhance your job search strategies, refine your presentation skills, and improve your chances of securing desirable job opportunities.

6. Building your brand.

Engaging with recruiters can also lead to positive word-of-mouth recommendations. When recruiters have a positive impression of you and your professional brand, they may share their experiences with others, including potential employers. This can help build a positive reputation and increase your chances of being considered for desirable job opportunities.

How to Reach Out to a Recruiter 

If you’re planning on messaging recruiters but not sure how to do it, here’s a step-by-step guide to help you:

1. Identify the right recruiter.

Research and identify recruiters who specialize in your industry or the type of job you’re seeking. You can find recruiters through online job boards, professional networking platforms (such as LinkedIn), or by asking for referrals from colleagues or industry contacts.

2. Craft a personalized message.

Once you have identified a recruiter you want to reach out to, write a personalized message to grab their attention. Start by introducing yourself, mentioning any mutual connections or shared interests, and expressing your interest in their expertise. Clearly state your career goals and highlight any relevant qualifications or experiences. Be concise, professional, and proofread your message before sending it.

3. Utilize online platforms.

If you’re reaching out to a recruiter on a professional networking platform like LinkedIn, you can use the platform’s messaging feature to send a personalized connection request or direct LinkedIn message. Customize your message to demonstrate why you’re interested in connecting with them specifically and how you can add value.

4. Attend job fairs and networking events.

Job fairs and industry-specific events provide opportunities to meet recruiters in person. Prepare a concise elevator pitch highlighting your skills and career goals, and engage in meaningful conversations. Collect business cards or contact information to follow up afterward.

5. Follow-up.

If you don’t receive an immediate response, follow up politely after a reasonable amount of time (typically a week or two). This shows your continued interest and professionalism. However, avoid being too pushy or sending multiple follow-up messages.

Remember, recruiters are often busy with numerous inquiries, and building relationships may take time. Keep building your network, stay proactive, and be persistent in your efforts.

NEED TO CONNECT WITH A RELIABLE RECRUITER?

Peak Performers is here to fulfill your passive or active job-searching needs. We specialize in matching candidates, especially people with disabilities, with fulfilling and rewarding positions. We believe in the power of DEI and work tirelessly to connect professionals like you with employers who appreciate your unique skills and perspectives.

Whether you’re looking for accounting, clerical, IT, or engineering jobs, our hiring process can connect you with opportunities that offer safe working conditions, comprehensive benefits, and competitive wages.

Contact us  today, and let us help you discover a career opportunity that aligns with your aspirations.

Improve Your Job Search Online, Look Beyond Job Titles!  

Looking for a job in today’s digital age has become easier—no more sifting through countless job ads in newspapers and magazines or visiting company locations just to send physical resume copies.  

However, it’s not exactly a walk in the park. A simple search online can result in hundreds of job openings and listings. Then there are different job search platforms, direct company applications, and staffing agencies. How will you know which of these opportunities would lead you to the career you strive for?  

Relying only on a job title can be misleading in many ways. So, how exactly can you find the right position? You need to look beyond job titles! 

Pitfalls of Relying Solely on Titles 

Using the job title you want as a keyword when searching online can still generate the positions you’re looking for. You may still find opportunities that pique your interest or those that follow your planned career path. 

But unfortunately, you can experience significant pitfalls that can negatively affect your job search. This can be very troubling since the more time spent searching for a job, the more money you waste.  

1. Similar job titles have varying details.

When looking at job boards, some listings may have the exact same job titles but different job descriptions and requirements. You need to understand that the industry and organization greatly affect the other details of the job requirements. Job titles for one team can have a completely different description in another organization. 

For example, the responsibilities and benefits of working as an accountant in a financial institution far outweigh those of working as an accountant in a restaurant. Then there are different focuses like loans, management, and taxation aside from the usual jobs of accountants. Each of these requires different specializations and experiences that you may or may not qualify for.  

2. Misleading usage of buzzwords.

Employers usually use buzzwords to generate more engagement with their job openings. This can be a problem when companies use buzzwords that aren’t directly related to the positions they’re filling. 

This can create confusion and disappointment for candidates who base their job search only on job titles. Instead of receiving the responsibilities they expected, they would be met with expectations misaligned with their position. 

Remember the last time you visited a job search website? There may have been other positions that popped up even though you’re specifically looking for an engineering role. This may have been caused by some of those job openings using the wrong buzzwords.  

Read More: A Better Way to Online Job Search 

Improving Online Job Search 

A strict focus on job titles can restrict your chances of accomplishing your goals. Since job titles, descriptions, and responsibilities for a position can vary per company, it can be hard finding the job that fits your goals perfectly. 

It’s best for you to move away from titles and refine your research by considering the following questions to maximize the opportunities available in the job market. Here are some questions you can ask yourself that can help improve your search online. 

Read More: 2023 Job Seeking Advice 

1. Who do you want to interact with all day?

No person is an island. As a candidate, this suggests that interacting with others will always be a part of your responsibility, no matter what company you join or what position you choose to fill. To be able to refine your job search, first, you need to identify the basics of the job you want. Start with the people who will surround you daily. 

  • Who do I want as officemates? 
  • What profession do I want my team members to have? 
  • Who are the customers I want to work with? 
  • What will my customers mainly need help with? 
  • What is my preference about the educational level and lifestyle of the new people I’ll meet every day? 

According to an article published in the International Journal of Research and Innovation in Social Science, 31 percent of employee retention is based on the environment within the office. 1 And one of the main factors that affect an office environment is the people within it. 

2. What do you want to do?

Think critically and create a detailed answer. Imagining yourself simply as an auditor is the same as restricting yourself to specific job titles. Focus more on the activities you would want to do once employed. 

  • Would you like to focus on analyzing research data?  
  • Do you see yourself interacting with customers about their financial standing? 
  • Do you prefer being at the desk all day with limited customer interaction?