Work life balance: How to find out if an employer values it as much as you?

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It’s finally time.

You are ready to begin your search for a new job.

And hopefully you’ll have some interviews and job offers soon.

During previous interviews, you might have felt as if it were a mistake to mention the possibility of occasionally missing work to tend to family matters. The mere mention of work life balance or time off, seemed to turn the interview in a bad direction.

Even though you weren’t hired for those jobs, you felt lucky.

How comfortable would you have been working there? How could it have affected your family?

Consequently, your question becomes: How can I find an employer who understands the importance of life outside of work and the obligations of my home life? An employer who’s on the same page as me, on these matters.

Here are a few ways to help you research a company and find answers to those questions.


Word of Mouth

Perhaps the easiest method for obtaining employer information is to ask your friends, family, or current associates.

Often times they, or someone they know, will have a story, positive or negative, regarding a current or past employer.

Understand that such stories must be taken as anecdotal, but the information may lead you to investigate further before you commit to an employer.


Job Sites

Until recently, there weren’t many tools available to help a prospective employee find the right employer.

As more information becomes available on the internet, finding information about the working atmosphere of a company is readily available.

When using job sites/boards (such as Monster, Indeed, CareerBuilder), you will often find links to employer ratings and comments.

Indeed.com, for example, has links for reviews and learning what it’s like to work for a company, shown next to many job advertisements.

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Employer Satisfaction Information

In addition to job sites, databases regarding workplace atmosphere are now available.

For instance, Glassdoor.com has extensive employee reviews detailing workplace atmosphere, job position satisfaction, and potential salaries.

There are also sites available that detail workplace conditions for women (Maybrooks, Fairygodboss), using the perspective of females in a particular position or experience.


What Do You See and Feel?

You can also put your detective hat on and observe what’s happening at the company.

If you see a mostly empty office when you arrive for your 6pm interview, it can be a sign that late work hours aren’t always required.

Do you see family photos on the desks? That may be a sign that the atmosphere is a comfortable, relaxed place to work, and that the company is at least somewhat committed to their employees and their families.

Many modern businesses take pride in their family-friendliness. If the interview process does not include information about a company’s policies regarding family leave, or days off built into the system, that’s probably something to take note of. Lack of a focus on such policies may be a sign of other issues that might arise in their employ. Keep looking.


We all want to find the perfect job. So many facets of your life can be affected by the way you feel about your work, good or bad.

With a little diligence it is possible to find the employer that will see you as more than just an employee, but as a member of a family, yours and theirs.

5 tips to get your profile noticed on LinkedIn

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Donna Serdula, author and speaker, specializes in the topics of job hunting, LinkedIn and executive branding.

In this video she shares 5 tips for getting your professional profile noticed on LinkedIn. Have a look at the video or read on for the highlights.



1: Make your profile sensitive to the LinkedIn Search Engine Ranking by taking advantage of the Headline, Summary, and Job Title sections of your profile.

These are the sections that are going to be most prominent when people search for people/businesses on LinkedIn.

Make your profile easy to find for people who don’t know your name, by wisely filling these sections with relevant keywords and information.

That way, when people search for businesses/people to accommodate their needs, your profile will not only be more visible, but also more appealing.


2: Add a Benefit Statement.

Give people a bit of an extra incentive to click on your profile.

Tell them what makes you unique and what impact you can make.

Make your profile as appealing as possible in a short space, so that people want to click and learn more.


3: Actively Post Content.

Keep people updated on what you’re doing. Post relevant content and updates.

Keep your profile in their feeds, so if an opportunity does come up wherein your skills or services would be beneficial, your profile will come to mind and they will give you a call.

The content you post doesn’t even necessarily have to be content you created. Sharing articles and relevant stories will keep you in the back of people’s minds.


4: View Other People’s Profiles.

On LinkedIn anyone whose profile you view, will see that you viewed them and might be interested enough to check out yours.

This is a simple way to get your name out there and make people notice you.

Use this feature to your advantage.

Stay active, show an interest in other’s work and they will most likely show an interest in yours.


5: Give Recommendations.

Don’t just ask for recommendations, show that you want to actively help others and give recommendations to benefit them as well.

When people come across the opportunity to give a recommendation to someone, the person who gave them a recommendation is going to seem to be the more appealing choice.

It’s a symbiotic relationship, concern yourself with helping people in every way that you can and it will come back around.

Job Hunting In the Digital Age: Reputation, Resumes & Video Interviews [Infographic]

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Anything and everything you do online leaves a digital footprint that employers can follow to determine whether or not you’d make a suitable employee.

For that matter, admissions officials might be interested in checking out your online presence — pictures and forum comments — before deciding if you warrant a letter of acceptance.

Fortunately, there’s a way that you can build a good online presence in this digital age. Learning the ins and outs of doing so is important because your online reputation counts for a lot.

What follows, therefore, is a primer on job hunting in the digital age, and how reputation, resumes and video interviews can help you succeed inside and outside of the classroom.


Reputation Matters

Building a strong online reputation is more important than you might think, particularly when you consider the following statistics:

  • 75% of recruiters will conduct research online to learn about applicants
  • 70% of recruiters have turned down applicants based on what they discovered online

Whether you’re a student pursuing an advanced degree or a graduate looking for work or an experienced professional, a LinkedIn account is a must. You can use it not only to market yourself online, but also to look for career opportunities or for network-building opportunities.

When you consider that 89% of all recruiters have hired someone through LinkedIn and that a mere 36% of job seekers are active on LinkedIn, it becomes clear that a presence on the popular social networking site is a good idea.

LinkedIn will help you to establish a strong online reputation, but there are other things that you need to keep in mind such as the difference between private and public profiles. For the former, you need to ensure that you restrict who can access them, get rid of any inappropriate photos or comments, and refrain for using your real name for your username. For the latter, you need to create separate accounts with your real name as the username and post industry-specific content.


Video Resume

In this digital age, you definitely need a video resume. Around nine in 10 resumes are presented in the traditional format, so going with a video resume can instantly differentiate you from the crowd.

As for programs you can use to create your own video resume, the following are three options:

  1. YouTube
  2. Vine
  3. Vimeo

Video Interview

You need to take a video interview as seriously as you would an in-person interview. Consider that 33% of bosses know within the first 90 seconds if they are going to hire a candidate, 53% of surveyed HR managers say that they use video interviews quite often, and 13% of hiring managers plan to use video interviews even more.

As empowering as the Internet can be if used correctly, it can hurt your career plans if your digital trail leads to anything questionable. So establish a good online reputation, showcase your video resume and prepare yourself for video interviews in order to bolster your job prospects.


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‘Weak ties’ are more likely to get you a job

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Job searching is not what it used to be.

If it has been a few years since you have needed to actively look for a job, you might not be aware of all the possibilities and options available.

Job boards and newspaper classifieds may still have a few benefits and resources, but they no longer play as significant of a role.

A proper digital presence and social media, especially LinkedIn, are now the best way to approach today’s job market.

Although LinkedIn is growing daily in popularity, very rarely is it used to its full potential. Most people use it as just another job board, which defeats it’s purpose entirely.

When used properly, LinkedIn has the ability to place your resume on top of any employer’s stack of applicants.

The main benefits of LinkedIn are:

  1. Easier networking and contact management.
  2. Having access to people in employer companies directly (i.e. being able to bypass recruiters and job boards).
  3. Making use of ‘weak ties’ which are a very effective for job search purposes.

Let’s look into the usefulness of weak ties for your job search.

Connections with colleagues, close friends, and family members are great. You should certainly use these ‘strong ties’ in order to get your next job.

However, according to a study completed by sociologist Mark Granovetter, you are 58% more likely to land a job through the people in your life who you are not that close to.

Such people, who Professor Adam Grant (Wharton School) calls weak or dormant ties, are “people with whom you’ve lost touch for a few years: a childhood neighbor, a college roommate, or a colleague from your first job.”

LinkedIn makes it very easy to find, connect with and cultivate these people during your job search.

Through the years of drifting apart, they have established different connections and developed new friendships with people you probably do not know. They provide an expanded set of opportunities that are not available through your close friends and family members, who have the same general social circles you do.

So the next time you get a LinkedIn request from someone from a distant past, or someone who you don’t know too well, think twice before ignoring it. The power of LinkedIn is in it’s network. You have access to your connections, as well as people in their network, and their network’s network.

For best practices to use LinkedIn during your job search with strong and weak ties, take a look at some of our articles and also the Networking/LinkedIn section of our job search guide.