Common Name? There’s a Social Fix For That!

Popular Name Social Media ToriRTerhune Tori Randolph TerhuneChances are you’ve heard the mantra: There will never be another you. It’s true that everyone has their own unique personality, but the same cannot be said for names. Unless you’ve got a crazy name, or are just plain lucky, there may be several folks that share your name. In fact, there are 2.7 million people with the last name Smith!

Unfortunately, this can cause confusion for hiring managers when they Google you after reading your stellar resume. Someone with the same name as you may have posted photos on Instagram of him or herself drinking in Las Vegas over the weekend. A mistaken identity in this instance could damage your personal brand. Here are five things you can do in your social media plan if you have a popular name to help you protect your personal brand.

1. Embrace a nickname. Shorten your legal name or come up with something unique from a middle name or fun school-aged nickname. You aren’t changing your name, and you can ask to be called something else in the office, but it will make it much easier for people to find you on social networks.

2. Use your middle initial. Don’t want to part with your first name? No problem! Keep your first and last name and just insert your middle initial. I’ve used this with my new married name, and ToriRTerhune is my handle and username on all networks.

3. Tag your industry to your name. If your career is in PR or you have a CPA, wear your industry and title proud. For example, ToriPR or ToriTerhune_CPA. Your name will not only be distinguished, but it will make it easy to see what you do and recruiters will see how passionate you are about your industry.

4. Underscore it. Use your first name, then the underscore symbol followed by your last name. Example: Tori_Terhune.

5. Add numbers. You can tag on your college or high school graduation date, or perhaps a lucky number to your username. I’ve seen people run with this and use the address where they grew up, and then really build into part of their brand using the numbers graphically in their online resumes and profiles.

6. Add THE. Many people recommend putting THE in front of your name to distinguish yourself; however, with a very popular name, this could be done already!

What do you think? Do you have other tips on what to do with your social media if you have a popular name? Comment below!

Facebook Graph Search and your Job Search

facebook graph search job search tori randolph terhuneIf you’re anything like me, the word graph makes you cringe. Your brain recalls the tedious process of graphing points on an axis, drawing a straight line and finding the slope. Some graphs are your friend though, and Facebook’s new Graph Search, soon to be used by all hiring managers,  is definitely one of those.

What is Graph Search?

Graph Search has started rolling out to users, and the graph data comes from Facebook users’ profile information. Using key search terms, recruiters can now dial in for graphic designers, in a certain city, who like coffee, the San Francisco Giants and have read three specific books…WOW! This makes Facebook much more useful in the job search, but also makes it important for jobseekers to make their pages the best representation of their personal brand. The information that you have in your about section, pages you’ve liked and any TV shows, movies, books, etc., you have listed are all game for Graph Search.

Here are three tips to help you promote your personal brand and hirability on Facebook.

1. Use a Vanity URL

Choose your name as your vanity URL. For instance, your URL should be facebook.com/firstnamelastname. Or, if you use your middle name or initial (like me), include that in your URL. This makes it easier for hiring recruiters to find you, which keeps them happy. Facebook only lets you change this once, so pick a good one!

2. Complete Your Profile

It is important that you fill out your about section with keywords relevant to your industry and personal brand. For example, you can list every title that describes you such as blogger, journalist or dance instructor. Don’t use cutesy quotes to describe yourself; think of your about section as a branch of your resume, and include any important descriptions of yourself there. You should also fill out all jobs, schools and relationships with those in your network on your profile.

3. Utilize Likes

Like companies, non-profit organizations, public figures, books, and anything that is part of your desired industry, or that reflects your personal brand. Graph Search enables hiring recruiters to not only scope out a candidate’s skills but also to determine whether he or she will fit in with the company culture based on personal likes on Facebook.

What do you think? Have you tried any other Graph Search optimization techniques? Comment below!

Top 5 Resume Tips to Stand Out

Resume Tips Social Media Tori R TerhuneWhile scrolling your Twitter feed, you see an opening at your dream company— whether that is the San Francisco Giants or Disneyland (my two dreams!). Before you frantically email the HR person begging for an interview, take a look at your resume. Take an objective point of view and think: If you were a hiring manager, would you hire yourself?

Here are five tips to make your resume stand out in cluttered inboxes or sky-high stacks of papers.

1. Keep it to One Page

First and foremost, make sure you have a one-page resume. Employers generally throw out a resume that is longer than a page. Only list the positions that you feel showcase your abilities and prove that you are the ideal candidate for the specific position. This means you will probably tailor your resume for every position, and keep the most relevant items to verify your resume is short. You can list additional work-related experience on your LinkedIn profile, website and other networks. You can also utilize columns to make your resume shorter.

2. Design it to be Aesthetically Pleasing

You can use a free design template, buy a template online for around $5 (Google search “resume template”), or even call a friend in graphic design to give your resume an eye-catching scheme that will make it stand out. The goal is to have a neat-looking, unique resume that attracts the hiring manager’s attention. Make sure the layout is easy to follow and the best parts of you stand out on the page!

3. Build in Verbs

Verbs give a powerful voice to your resume. Start phrases that list responsibilities in your professional work-experience category with verbs such as managed, lead or implemented.

4. Quantify by Using Numbers

Emphasis your work-related statistics in your resume. Quantify your achievements. For example: Maybe you managed X number of people or increased a company’s Twitter followers by Y amount. Numbers stand out on the page and PROVE that you are a great manager, multi-tasker, etc., rather than just stating it.

5. The More Eyes, the Better

Think typos don’t matter? 61 percent of surveyed hiring managers will throw out a resume with typos. Don’t trust your own eyes, and after you proof your resume several times, have someone else read it for you. Generally this means more than just a friend. See if your advisor will assess it with you. Advisors are helpful because they also know your strengths and background.  Try not to simply email it, but come in person so you can understand the feedback and contribute to brainstorm better ideas. Listen to your advisor and follow his or her instructions. Remember, these professionals have much more experience than you and know what hiring managers are generally looking for.

BONUS: Try QR Codes!

I’ve heard from many job seekers that their resume has stood out to recruiters because they placed a QR code on their resume that sent recruiters to either their LinkedIn page or a YouTube video of them explaining why they are the best candidate. I love this idea!

What do you think? Have you used any of these tactics? Any others? What works best for you? Comment below!

How To Be A Good Intern

how to be a good intern tori randolph terhuneYou just landed that coveted internship. Now what? Your journey has just begun. Here are four of my favorite tips to help you put your best foot forward in your internship to successfully navigate the path toward your dream career.

1.  When in Doubt, Ask!

No one expects you to know everything. It’s better to swallow your pride and ask how to do a task now rather than mess up on the assignment later. You can also ask professors, mentors or peers for work-related advice to get an objective opinion, as long as it doesn’t violate your internship company’s privacy policy.

2. Be Responsible

Treat your internship as if it were your dream job. Show your internship supervisor that you do not fit the negative stereotype of a lazy, apathetic student. Always be on time and ready to work hard. If you will be late or absent, call in advance.

3. Be Flexible

Go above and beyond what you were hired to do to leave a lasting positive impression of yourself on your supervisor. Your internship supervisor may ask you to do work that is less-than exciting. Instead of complaining, put a smile on your face and say yes. Your go-getter attitude will pay off when you get that outstanding letter of recommendation.

4. Be Innovative

Think outside of the box. If your tasks are completed for the day and you have time, think of what you can bring to the table to help the company succeed. What is the company lacking that you are equipped to help with? Maybe the company has a Twitter account but doesn’t engage with its followers. See what you can do to help. Creativity goes a long way toward making yourself memorable and hirable.

What do you think? Have you tried any of these?  Do you have any other tips on how to have a successful internship?