First Impressions Count

Cool tools, apps, and strategies for sales, marketing, recruiting, and job search from a guy who helps great big companies look good online.

The Cool Tools Podcast

Craig Fisher and Lars Schmidt talk tech and interview the folks who make their favorite tools and apps. We throw in some cool tune suggestions to make this one heck of a good time.

Speaking, Training, Strategy

Craig Fisher consults with companies on using digital tech for customer and talent attraction, connection, and sales and recruiting efficiency. He is a popular keynote speaker at social media, sales, HR, and recruiting conferences.

Linkedin Boot Camp

Join Craig's Linkedin Boot Camp in Dallas on January 17th, 2014. Register today!

Our next user conference, TalentNet Interactive

Join us in Austin at TalentNet Interactive on March 7th to kick off SXSWi with a great day of career and recruiting learning, networking, and strategy. Register now.

Apr 8, 2014

How has Twitter changed?

I recently stumbled upon an interview I did with Stephanie Lloyd in 2009 about how I use Twitter for Recruiting.  At that time I was still running my executive search and consulting business.  It seems the suggestions about how I used Twitter then still apply today.

I guess Twitter hasn't changed that much.  The basic principles remain.  There are new features and easier ways to create targeted lists to follow and connect with your network.  And Twitter is still an excellent channel through which to generate brand amplification and referrals.

The tools that support Twitter have certainly changed.  Tweepsearch, which I referenced in this article, is long gone, as are many others.

What are you doing differently now with Twitter than you were a couple of years ago (okay, nearly 5 years in this case)?

Interview with Craig Fisher: How do you use Twitter for recruiting?
by STEPHANIE A. LLOYD on JULY 21, 2009 
Today as part of an ongoing series I had the opportunity to ask my friend Craig Fisher how he uses Twitter in his recruiting efforts.
Craig FisherCraig Fisher
Craig, Co-Founder of A-List Solutions and a veteran sales leader in the staffing and recruiting industry, was gracious enough to allow me to spend some time grilling interviewing him about how he uses Twitter as an integral part of his recruiting practice.
How do you use Twitter in your recruiting efforts?
I use Twitter in multiple ways for recruiting.  I use my personal Twitter account, @Fishdogs, to follow and network with prospective candidates and clients.
I post things that would be interesting to job seekers and employers/recruiters, and I have discussions, take polls, listen, and assist those in need; all on Twitter.  I also do these things to a lesser extent from my corporate Twitter presence.
But, Twitter doesn’t happen in a vacuum.
I refer my Twitter network to my LinkedIn and Facebook groups, my blog, company blog, job orders, etc. – and I have lots of phone conversations with my network, as well.  All of these activities combine the brand Craig Fisher as a helpful expert in my field and my company as a go-to resource for staffing services and social recruitment training.
Have you found success meeting new candidates on Twitter?
Ummm…YEAH!
Sometimes it can be hard to gauge just how effective Twitter is in growing our candidate pool.
But, aside from the many candidates I actively network with on Twitter, analytics tell me that Twitter is a huge traffic driver to our company web site and job board.  I get direct referrals from posting jobs on Twitter, and I get friendly referrals on Twitter every week. A significant percentage of those who apply for our clients’ jobs find us directly through Twitter.
What are you doing that’s working well?
Branding and active participation.
The branding comes naturally if you participate in the conversation; and you help and promote others.
You have to listen, contribute, reply, and retweet on a regular basis! Notice that only one of those things has much to do with you.
I am careful to pepper my tweets with a dose of humor and humanity about me as a person.  Otherwise; I make it about others.  As I’m prone to say…you can’t just post jobs – or what you had for lunch – and expect the referrals to come a runnin’!
How has your approach evolved over time?
I started out posting mostly about blogging, graphic design, template customization; things to help you get your presence online.
I’m quite passionate about those things, and I’m also passionate about helping people find jobs and network more successfully.
So, those original initiatives just became a smaller part of a much larger effort to post helpful info for job seekers and employers.  And of course – that includes a healthy dose of Twitter information.
Twitter LOVES to hear about Twitter!
What advice would you give to people who want to use Twitter in their job search efforts?
Use the same tools that recruiters use to find and network with job seekers.
The rules are the same.
Use Tweepsearch, Twitter Grader, and other similar tools to find recruiters and employers in your area.
Then, engage with them and let them see that you, too, are an expert in your field. And go where the recruiters go!
Search the hashtags that are #HR and recruiting related.  Participate or listen in on their forums like #TalentNet (www.talentnetlive.com).  Make the recruiters in your network aware of your job search.  Be specific about what you seek.  Ask for help when you need it.  And don’t be afraid to give friendly reminders.  Squeaky wheels are welcome in the Twitterverse.
If there is anyone who knows his way around recruiting and social media, it’s Craig!  For more information you can find Craig on Twitter– and I highly recommend that you check out his blog!

Mar 24, 2014

How to Make Your Employee’s Online Brand Part of Your Company Brand

Your latest hire, let’s call him Joe, didn’t realize the far-reaching implications of what he just posted on Facebook. To him, a quickly uploaded a photo with a snappy comment didn’t mean much. Now, after a few eyeballs saw and commented, all hell was breaking loose online. No big deal, right? Maybe so. Just below Joe’s public profile photo, he has listed your company as his employer. What now?
Instead of sprinting straight to damage control, it’s important to understand that Joe, like most employees, doesn’t really know the power and effect that his personal brand online has on the company as a whole. This needs to change — starting from the inside and working out.

Spearhead an Internal Marketing Campaign

canstockphoto6346294.jpgIt is possible to help your employees feel empowered to use social media for the good of the organization — and to make them look good in the process. Think of this as an internal marketing campaign that has the dual benefit of engaging employees and raising your company’s online profile at the same time.
Your employees have a footprint of some kind online. We know from social media statistics that a huge percentage of the U.S. adult population, for instance, has a Facebook account, and many use tools like Linkedin, Twitter, Instagram, and Yelp every day. Rather than telling your employees to stay off of these sites at work, why not incorporate their activities to help attract great customers and like-minded employees to the organization?
Tell your people that you realize they network online — and that’s okay. Let them know that if they would like to share with the world about the company’s awesome culture to help attract great customers and more great people like themselves, that you will give them the tools to do just that. Don’t force it, but give them the option. Empower them to opt-in and help your company — their company — grow.

Stop Telling Employees What NOT to Say

Most people don’t talk about work very well online because they either don’t know what to say, or, more commonly, they are unsure what they’re allowed to say. Generally, they are simply given a document telling them what not to say.
Shouldn’t the people closest to you — your company’s human capital — be the best equipped to refer great people to the organization? Help your employees talk about work better, even if just occasionally, on social media sites. Help them boost their profiles to attract more great people to the company.
Think about all the voices you can activate if you give your employees some great ways to talk about work better. Encourage them to show appreciation for their co-workers, talk about their great team, great customers, great managers and more. Show them how to take great photos and tell stories that help describe a day-in-the-life in their job. Allow them to be transparent.

Be Real

Have an honest conversation with your employees. Break down the walls of social media dos and don’ts. Tell them something like this: “We like you. We think you are great. We would love for you to talk about work in your daily online activities if you want to. You can help the company. In turn, we will help you create a great Linkedin profile and give you social media training if that’s something you want to take advantage of. Here’s a database of cool articles and resources you can share with the world.”   
Explain how it can benefit them to have a better profile, as well. Suppose their manager is online looking for the perfect job candidate for a new opening that their current employee might also aspire to. Imagine the manager’s delight when their current employee looks like the best candidate they see for that job. 
Conversely, as the employer, think about the lower attrition you can achieve with more engaged employees who now feel like a more integral part of the team. These employees also appear highly engaged to outside recruiters who may move on to lower hanging fruit.
This article was originally published by Craig Fisher on HumanCapitalist.com

Mar 13, 2014

#CoolToolShow Craig and Lars Interview with Gozaik CEO, Joe Budzienski

On Feb. 24th, 2014, Monster announced the acquisition of TalentBin, Inc.a social profile talent search engine, and Gozaik LLC, a developer of social jobs aggregation and distribution technology.

On April 3rd, 2013, Craig and Lars interviewed Gozaik CEO, Joe Budzienski (@gozaik1) about their (then) recently beta launched smart resume and job search app for Twitter users.  I wonder if Joe knew then what a year would bring.

Gozaik launched as a free social web application that basically used aggregated technology to dissect Twitter for job openings and released this information to Gozaik users who could then apply for the jobs using their Gozaik résumés.

When we spoke with Joe last year, Gozaik had seen impressive buzz since it's initial press release that same week and wracked up 3000 users in 48 hours.  Budzienski told us they were already receiving contact from 14 countries around the world requesting new and extended features.

Apparently they were quite good.  Details of the Monster acquisition were not disclosed.  Whatever the deal was, I'm guessing Gozaik was pleased with the speed of their success.

We very much enjoyed Joe and his team.  They even invited us to their launch party in Boston. Alas we couldn't make it.  But they were kind enough to send us some cool T-shirts from the event.

Congrats to Joe and Gozaik.  And thanks again for the T-shirts!

The Cool Tools Show with Craig and Lars on TalentNet Radio: Dawn of the smart Twitter resume - interview with Gozaik CEO


New Social Networking Podcasts with TalentNet CoolTools Radio Chat on BlogTalkRadio

Feb 17, 2014

How to ditch your laptop and live in the cloud - Cool Tools Podcast w/ Craig and Lars

Lars Schmidt and I recently recorded a podcast for the Cool Tools Show, with guest Chip Luman from Hirevue, about how to ditch your laptop and live in the cloud.

Chip is a frequent business traveler, like Lars and I, and has taken to using just small devices on the road and keeping all his data stored in the cloud.

Many people can't fathom being separated from their laptop, especially on the road.  But I assure you it can be done.

With the right hardware, apps, and attitude, you can do everything you need to from smaller devices such as tablets and smart phones.

Are You Cloud Savvy?

Michael Alter has some great suggestions in an article he wrote recently for Inc.com called How to Work in the Cloud

"With a bit of savvy and a small investment, you can manage your entire business any where, any time. But first, how virtual are you? Do you meet with clients only to realize you're missing a key piece of data? Do you worry about saving space on your computer? Go into the office to finish work on the weekend?
If so, I'd suggest giving yourself a grade. If you’re a B or above, you’re probably doing OK. But if you’re at a C or D, it’s time to adapt. This isn't because you have try new technology but because there are several advantages."
In the cool tools podcast, we discuss our top tips, apps, and strategies for being more lightweight in the air and on the ground.  Hope you enjoy it.

Chip's tips:

Cloud apps:  various free cloud storage apps, Dropbox, Box, Google Drive to store my stuff, Evernote, Cloudmagic, LastPass, Haiku Deck, Prezi and CloudOn to access and manage my stuff, Bloomfire, Salesforce for work specific stuff - of course Pages, Numbers & Keynote get used too.

Personal:
Capture - FilmicPro, Camera+, Instagram

Travel: - TripIt, Delta
Social - Hootsuite, Facebook, LinkedIn, Foursquare, - kinda use Google+
Checking out - Refresh, Wunderlist (as a replacement to ZenDone that is not planning an iPad app) and

Devices:  iPhone, iPad, Zagg keyboard, Jambox, Bluetooth for the Jambox and Zagg

Music: iTunes, Shazam, Spotify, Soundcloud, Songkick, BandsInTown, Last.fm, KRCL 90.9, NPR Music, Checking out - Cloudbeats/TuneBox

About Cool Tools with Craig and Lars
Cool Tools podcasts can be found on BlogTalkRadioiTunes, and now on SoundCloud.



Online Social Networking Radio at Blog Talk Radio with TalentNet CoolTools Radio Chat on BlogTalkRadio

About HirevueHireVue’s Talent Interaction Platform augments existing applicant tracking, talent management and social applications, accelerating productivity and decision-making by delivering high-definition clarity into people’s character, cultural fit, personality, and potential.  The platform includes HireVue’s flagship digital screening and live interviewing capabilities, as well as new solutions for sourcing, skills validation and onboarding - enabling Hi-Def Digital Recruiting

Jan 23, 2014

How to Create a Compelling Recruiting Video

Video has become one of the best ways to communicate a company’s culture, especially in a talent recruiting context.  Doing it well can yield great results.  Doing it poorly?  Well, not so much.
Here are 9 tips that will help you succeed, with input along the way from Craig Fisher, CEO of TalentNet, LLC.  Craig does training and consulting for companies of all sizes all over the world on personnel recruiting, company culture and other HR-related issues.  Simply put, Craig is an expert in the field.   
Originally posted UPGVideo.com
12-17-2013 | By: Ben Cecil
Here you go.

Know your target.

Like any form of persuasive media or marketing, you need to know what motivates your target’s decisions.  What motivates and inspires them?  What makes them lose interest?  What will make them open to hearing more? 
Craig:  The top thing millennials want in an employer isn't salary.  It's interesting work.  Next is learning and career track with regular raises.

SPEAK TO THE TARGET.  NO ONE ELSE.

If you’re trying to speak to multiple categories of talent, you need to do multiple recruiting pieces.  Marketing candidates won’t respond to a video better suited for engineers.  In this case, one stone has no chance of killing two birds.
Craig I'm a big fan of letting each department create its own video.  That way each video will automatically be targeted.  Create videos about the team, the company culture, specific jobs, and a day in the life of a typical employee in that department.  

Know your Context. 

LinkedIn is an obvious hotspot right now for finding candidates.  Events are great too.  But keep in mind that a video that works online may not work at an event.   A truly compelling video works in concert with its environment.

Your Current Employees are the experts!

What style of video will you create?  Will comedy work?  What will the perfect candidate wantto hear?  What makes your company so great in the first place?  Nobody’s better suited to answer these questions than your current team.  After all, THEY already joined the company.  Ask them, “why?”
Craig:  Give your employees a voice.  Tell them that you would love for them to help share your company's awesome culture with the world if they want to.  And if they do, give them the tools to talk about work properly while keeping their own personality alive in their communications.

Everybody has a ping pong table.

Make sure you communicate important, unique reasons why your company is a great fit for a prospective new hire.  After all, it’s not the ping pong table or “unlimited snacks” that will make them get out of bed in the morning.  Identify your differentiators and leverage them.
Craig: The truth is that the only thing your company has that others don't is your people.  The individuals that make up your organization are your only true differentiators.

Brand Schmand.

Recently, a CMO friend of mine told me that his decision to “stay out of it” turned out to be a good one while his company was creating a recruiting/culture video.  This is good advice with one exception.  When the people in the video intro the company itself, what will they say the company actually does?  I’m not suggesting someone should recite the mission statement but it needs to fall in line with the brand messaging.  This is just as much about accuracy as it is about branding.

Say “NO” to the CEO.

Consider which members of management, IF ANY, should be in the video.  Potential candidates may not connect with a CEO they will rarely see if they’re hired.  Resist the urge to put an “official face” on the company.  Candidates want to see people like them, the ones they can relate to.  Have a reason for EVERY person or character in the video.
Craig:  People want to do business with people they feel like they know, like, and trust.  This happens when individuals share personal things.  

Tell a story.

Stories are memorable and help people connect emotionally.  Canned, boilerplate… “we’re committed to excellence” blah blah blah won’t resonate.  Make sure your video weaves an authentic storyline.  Doesn’t have to be The Great Gatsby, it just needs to feel personal.
Craig:  Let your employees talk about what they do in culture or recruiting videos.  And let them tell their stories.  Their individual stories, not just the company's.  

Be Real.

So many recruiting videos and company culture videos are out of touch.  That’s because they’re full of company jargon and what we think people want to hear.  This isn’t necessarily a creative issue as much as it is about letting your company be itself.  You have a personality.  Embrace it.  Don’t be afraid to use it.  After all, it’s a MAJOR reason why people work there in the first place.
I'll leave you with an example that  was executed using this process and approach.  21CT is currently driving relevant traffic to this video, traffic sourced mainly from LinkedIn and other online talent search efforts.

Jan 7, 2014

Why Your Talent Community Should Be More Than Just a List

Talent communities have reached a level of market maturity such that most companies no longer need to be sold on the idea. In fact, most of the employers I speak with believe they need (or already have) an accumulation of online social cliques from which they can find talent.
I, however, tend think the idea of talent communities is somewhat romantic.
Here’s the problem: Most talent communities are just lists. They lack engagement. A link on a company’s career site asks the candidate to “click here” to join the talent community. The click leads to an opt-in email campaign which sends the candidate updates about new job postings. Otherwise there is very little engagement. This is not a community. Talent communities are not magic placement machines. Recruiters still have to recruit.  At best, and if working as intended, talent communities should be good referral engines. That’s really the goal.

Give Employees a Voice

People want to work with people they like, and if you want candidates to understand your company culture and self-select properly into your organization, you should give them access to your employees — current and past. This is also one of the best ways to populate your candidate community with content — which is a key element of any good community. You have to feed it, so get your people talking and give them a voice.
One of my favorite examples of a company that is getting it right is Deloitte NZ: its Facebook community is world class and boasts some of the best examples of culture sharing that I’ve seen. If employers can get their people engaged and sharing in an authentic way, their employer brand and value proposition is real and tangible. If the employees feel it, prospects can feel it, and the result is more referrals. Employee and candidate engagement equals referrals.

Tools to Drive Engagement

At the HR Technology Conference this year I took a fresh look at some tools that help drive engagement and referrals. Here are a couple of my current favorites to help you build a talent community that is more than just a list:
  • RolePoint is a scalable employee referral platform and sourcing technology that facilitates candidate reach. RolePoint aggregates knowledge around connections that allows accurate identification of where potential candidates lie on the passivity scale. Sourcing can be targeted with a rapidly expanding set of data points, forming a detailed picture of applicant potential. RolePoint’s mission is to map this data to drive accurate engagement with candidates that is relevant, timely and actionable. Rolepoint also stood out at HR Tech by co-hosting the HRevolution Tweetup at Mix Lounge, and by having a roulette table at their booth on the expo floor.
  • Work4 turns Facebook into a targeted talent community through its unmatched Facebook referral engine, targeted Facebook job advertising, and newly announced Graph Search integration. The bounce rate for candidates who have to leave the platform, in order to apply for a job, is high. I’m a fan of keeping candidates right inside the largest talent pool online: Facebook — even when mobile, which Work4 handles amazingly well. This team stood out by hosting a very timely “Beer O’clock” happy hour at my favorite Irish pub in Mandalay Bay, RiRa. Work4 also launched a Social Recruiting Score tool that analyzes a company’s social and mobile recruiting efforts in real time. I recently co-presented a webinar with Work4 CEO Stephane LeViet on How to turn your social recruiting into a referral machine.  If you’re into the whole “referral” thing, it’s worth checking out.
  • One platform that I like, which I did not get to see at HRTech this year, is Ascendify. Ascendify spent this year honing their Talent Cloud platform and the result is pretty cool. They create a candidate and employee referral community inside the employer’s career site that actually acts like a community.  It also gives the candidate a score to let them know how well they match a job in which they are interested. This leads to better applies. I like it. Ascendify assures me they will return to the HR Technology Conference in 2014.
There are many players in the candidate community software market. I’m attempting to create a comprehensive list of all of them. It is tentatively entitled “The list of software that makes your candidate community more than just a list”. There are well over 100 vendors. If you want to help me populate the list — which we’ll post in the coming weeks — leave a comment below with your suggestions. In the meantime, please engage your candidates with employee generated content. Don’t leave engagement to one community manager. You need more than just a list. Feed it!
This post was originally written by Craig Fisher for HumanCapitalist.  

Dec 30, 2013

The Best Profile Photo for #Linkedin?

Your profile photo may be the most important part of your Linkedin profile.  So how do you know what makes a good pic for you?

We know profile pics are one of the things people click on most when viewing your Linkedin profile.  This was boldly illustrated by Heat Map Studies recently posted on Mashable and highlighted in a great post by Stacy Zapar on her blog in the post, Why You Should Include Your Twitter Handle in Your Linkedin Headline.

Alison Doyle, About.com's job search and employment expert posts a nice guide on How to Take and Choose a Good Profile Photo for Linkedin.

Her suggestions differ slightly from some that Jason Seiden and I offered on the Beyond Social podcast.  I like the contrast between the suggestions because I don't think the same rules apply to everyone.  


Alison's suggestions: 


Pick the Right Photographer. You do not need to hire a professional photographer. Simply ask a friend or family member (who knows how to handle a camera) to take several shots of you. Select someone who can make you smile in a natural way. A warm, friendly smile will make you look accessible, and encourage others to engage with you. Have the photographer (and a few other friends, if possible) look at the photos and ask them which photo makes you seem the most accessible.
If someone else is not available to take the photo, you can take a webshot of yourself using your computer’s camera (if you have one). But do not take the photo yourself using your phone or a handheld camera – self-photos often appear unprofessional.
Pick a Head Shot. Because profile photos appear as small thumbnails on LinkedIn, your photo should be of only your head, neck, and a bit of your shoulders. If you include your entire body, your head will appear too small, and viewers may not be able to recognize you.
Dress Professionally. Since LinkedIn is a professionally oriented platform, make sure that your photo depicts you in a manner appropriate for your field. Typically this means a dress shirt or blouse, a shirt and tie, or even a suit. Choose solid dark colors like blue or black. Avoid white; it can make you appear washed out. Avoid wearing a strapless dress or top; if you are showing your shoulders in the picture, a strapless top will make you appear naked (and definitely unprofessional)!
Dressing professionally also means dressing cleanly and simply: avoid wearing too much makeup, or any over-the-top, distracting hairstyles and jewelry.
Keep it Simple. Your photo should be of you, and only you. Do not include objects, pets, or children. Avoid busy backgrounds as well – standing against a solid-colored, light background is best.
Select a Current Photo. Do not include a dated photo. Use a current picture so people aren’t surprised when they meet you in person.
Be Consistent. When developing your professional online brand, consistency is key. Therefore, it is a good idea to use the same photo for all your professional and social networking profile pictures. This will make you more easily recognizable.


Craig and Jason's suggestions from the Beyond Social Podcast:


  1. You need a photo. LinkedIn registers a 40% uptick in click-throughs to photos that have photos vs. ones that don't. 
  1. Your photo matters. There is actually quite a bit of behavioral science behind what makes a great photo.
  1. A good photo is one that drives engagement. This was implied in the show but deserves to be stated explicitly; we don't care as much about making you beautiful as we do about helping you achieve your goals.
  1. Men, unless you know how to smile, you might be better off... not smiling. Many of you look like you're in pain or unsure of yourself. Also, biologically speaking, there is a male/female dynamic at play as well, and women are not necessarily predisposed to favor smiling men.
  1. Men, think about engaging in something interesting, or putting yourself in a setting that suggests an interest beyond work. 
  1. Men with pets works on dating sites, and we can personally vouch for it working on Twitter and blogs. (We haven't tested this theory on LinkedIn.)
  2. Women, smile and look at the camera. 
  1. For both men and women, pure physical attractiveness does not account for as much as attractiveness in the compelling sense of the word.  
  1. Women, smile and look at the camera!
  1. No party shots—don't have someone else's collar visible in the corner of your profile pic. 
  1. Don't get hung up on "professional" vs. "personal" It's a "profersonal" world, and the two are intertwined. 
  1. Your photo should be consistent with your story. If you're in a creative field, you might want a photo that's a bit more... creative. If you're selling insurance benefits, you might want a photo that demonstrates loyalty, stability, and/or family values. 
  1. Keep your photo consistent. Your visitors are busy; don't suddenly be Gene Simmons tomorrow. That said, keep your photo up to date—no 12 year old photos of you a full head of hair and 35 pounds ago!

Hopefully somewhere here you can find the road to the right profile pic for you.  I'm a big believer that first impressions matter.  So don't take this lightly!  People want to see what you look like. 

We'll cover profile photos in the first ever Linkedin Boot Camp Dallas on 1/17.  If you're in the area please join us!

Dec 23, 2013

Too Many Law School Graduates, Not Enough Jobs?

I'll be returning to Sydney in May of 2014 to present at the Australasian Talent Conference.  I'll be running a couple of Linkedin Master Classes while I'm there as well in Sydney and Melbourne in conjunction with Human Capital Management Solutions.

In preparation for my keynotes and workshops, I study the jobs situation in each market that I get to visit.

Lisa Martin brings us this great piece discussing the job market for Attorneys in Australia and elsewhere.

Too Many Law School Graduates, Not Enough Jobs?

According to Sharon Cook, managing partner of Australian law firm Henry Davis York, the current job market for law school graduates is the toughest that it has been in 30 years. A huge number of talented law graduates are all pushing their way into the market at the same time, making the competition for jobs very challenging – as there are not enough positions to go around to accommodate all of the graduates from the 31 law schools in Australia.

In 2013, there were 500 applicants for approximately 80 positions in law in Western Australia this year. With so many applicants competing for the same jobs, it’s becoming an increasingly difficult task to set yourself apart from the crowd and get that dream profession in the law industry.

The problem is not just in Australia, as the glut of graduates is even worse in the USA. More than half of all US law schools have cut their intake over the last two years. It seems that the recession has hurt the job market for law school graduates in the UK, Europe and Canada as well.

Meanwhile, clients are becoming savvier and realizing that there are better value alternatives, which means that legal service providers will need to become much more competitive. In the recession, clients were much more discerning about the legal services they were paying for – as a result of using online resources to become more informed about the legal profession. Also, software which is able to complete complicated legal paperwork is taking over jobs that would have once been performed by a human.

Schools Offering Help for Students

Many law schools are currently competing so that they can make their students stand out from the crowd and give them a distinct advantage in this increasingly challenging job market. Some schools are even offering their students help to find a job, such as Arizona State University opening its own non-profit law firm to keep 30 of their recent graduates employed. Also, other law schools have created incubators to train solo law practitioners as well as public interest fellowships to help their recent graduates get a foothold in the legal market.

Will the Law Profession Bounce Back?

At the moment, many people believe that the abundance of unemployed law graduates and the shortage of jobs is just a temporary symptom of the recession. The hope is that when the economy recovers, the demand for lawyers will also come back in full strength.
However, another (more pessimistic) theory is that the market will never recover for lawyers – due to globalisation. It has become easy for a law firm to outsource their legal assignments to foreign lawyers in India – who will work for a much cheaper rate.

Unemployed and In Debt – Finding Work Elsewhere

Struggling to find a job or having to accept anything you can find at a low wage is challenging enough, even more so when you have graduated and are tens (or even hundreds) of dollars in debt from your law degree. Because these law graduates need to find something to do to pay off their student loans, they have been thinking outside the box and working in other professions. They are also building up their skills with resources such as legal books and training from LexisNexis in order to compete.

The Graduate Careers Australia survey of over 1000 law graduates in 210/2011 discovered that 64% were not practising law. Some find themselves as consultants at public policy agencies or working in administration. Their law degrees give them skills in problem solving, writing and research – which can be applied to a number of different positions. These resourceful graduates are doing everything that they can to get into the job market, hoping that in the future their prospects will improve.

Author Bio

Lisa Martin is a law student who also writes for her university’s newspaper and a number of legal-related blogs. She hopes she will be able to find a job upon graduation, but if not she has a few other ideas as back up plans. 

Dec 19, 2013

5 Reasons Millennials Are Quitting Facebook

At the 2013 #truCollegeRecruiter events in NYC and Dallas there was much discussion about how to best connect with college students and new grads.  Naturally Facebook was one of the major platforms cited as a go-to marketing and recruiting platform.  But is Facebook becoming less of a destination for Millennials and beyond?

Quit-facebook-knife

In a great post on Mashable, Taylor Casti discusses 

5 Reasons Millennials Are Quitting Facebook

Facebook is the cigarette of 2013, the "bad habit" many are trying to kick. And the doubts seem to be stemming from Facebook's younger users.
Mashable reached out to a few Millennials, in particular, to find out why they left Facebook — and why some returned. While the reasons for cutting the cord ranged from the practical to the existential, many former Facebook users cited the stress of maintaining their online appearances.
While half the users we questioned have returned to the site (albeit with a reduced presence), the other half consistently claim they're happy to be "free" of Facebook. They found that once they got used to it, life without social media wasn't as hard as they imagined.
1. It's Just Too Overwhelming
The most common reason for going Facebook-cold turkey was the overwhelming nature of the site. To many, it just seems like noise. Among the mess of targeted ads, Instagram pictures and shared articles, there's very little room for real socializing between friends on the Facebook Timeline.
At least, that's the reason 23-year-old Facebook user Tom Barefoot, a graduate student at the University of Akron, cites: "I see Facebook and I just think, 'The only people I really care about are, like, 10 of my friends. Why do I need all this other social media?'"
Duquesne University graduate student Jordan Moore, 24, agrees. He's quit Facebook in the past but kept his account to stay in touch with a few close friends.
"A lot of the people I am connected with I no longer talk to," he says, calling Facebook a "soapbox" and "diary" for people to promote their opinions and frustrations, rather than to actually communicate.
With users amassing hundreds of friends and acquaintances, some they only met once or knew years ago, Jordan's sentiment is a common concern. Abandoning Facebook cuts out the obligation to keep track of your friend from grade school, and instead focus on real-life interactions with those you care most about.
2. To Hide Incriminating Evidence From Employers
We've all heard the warnings: Watch what you put on Facebook, because your future employers will go through your account with a fine-toothed comb to find that one picture of you holding a red Solo cup from 2004. And you will not be hired as a consequence.
It's part of the reason Facebook has introduced many privacy tools, but some users, like software engineer Albert Tackie, 26, aren't taking any chances.
"I left years ago, primarily so I couldn't have Facebook working against me as I was job hunting. My friends made my Wall far too incriminating, and it made me nervous," he says, "Now I just won't go back because I'm already free."
Facebook could cost you your job.
Image: Flickr, SethMacEntee
This desire to hide evidence from potential employers is causing many Facebookers to fly the coop, especially considering a recent Facebook privacy settings change has ensured no user can hide from search anymore. The fear is legitimate, as employers try harder and harder to gauge potential employees by their social media presences, some even going so far as to ask for candidates' Facebook passwords.
For some, removing one's presence entirely could mean the difference between getting or losing a job.
3. To Hide From a Breakup
It's hard to get over an ex when you see her constant status updates or his weekend party pictures. Some members of the Broken Hearts Club find it's easier to avoid the social network entirely during their recovery periods.
Laekyn Sanders, 21-year-old undergraduate student at Seton Hill University, says she quit Facebook to avoid the distraction of her breakup. "I was going through a really bad breakup, and was tired of people asking me via Facebook why things ended with the guy I was dating," she says. "It got distracting enough to the point that I would find myself wanting to talk about it to those people, and it took me away from focusing on studying, which made my grades drop really quickly."
Katie Stopa, a 27-year-old New York University graduate student, says quitting Facebook meant she didn't feel forced to maintain relationships she no longer felt benefited her.
"I also think 
Facebook encourages keeping some relationships open that should naturally be closed
Facebook encourages keeping some relationships open that should naturally be closed," she says. "That could include a relationship with an ex-boyfriend, or an ex-friend, or just a former acquaintance or schoolmate that you haven't seen in the better part of a decade. Facebook keeps them open."
Facebook makes dating (both the beginnings and ends) difficult. In a digital environment where every comment, relationship status update or photograph posted is relatively public knowledge, it's hard to avoid scrolling back through old romantic messages, cute Wall posts and photographs from happier days. And while some praise Facebook for its ability to maintain would-be lost ties, in a relationship gone bad, daily reminders that the other party still exists can be jarring.
4. To Avoid Anxieties
Even if you avoid posting sensitive information online, social networks like Facebook make it challenging to confront the setbacks in one's life, for example, the loss of a job or that extra year at college. Many users feel they have to either acknowledge the problem to their entire network or pretend everything is fine. Either takes a psychological toll.
Facebook greys the lines between what's your information and what isn't.
Image: Flickr, opensourceway
A recent study from the Department of Behavioral Science at the University of Utah seems to confirm this. Over 400 students were questioned on their Facebook usage and lifestyle perceptions in relation to others. Of the students questioned, "those who have used Facebook longer agreed more that others were happier, and agreed less that life is fair, and those spending more time on Facebook each week agreed more that others were happier and had better lives."
Anna, 24 (last name withheld), a journalist, agrees. When she had Facebook, "I would compare myself and my own somewhat 'nerdy' (but absolutely lovable) friend group to others in my college, who seemed to have tons of fun being out and about, kept posting inside jokes and affectionate posts. You know, the usual stuff, pretty normal at hindsight, but I guess it bothered me somewhat that my friends never did that."
Looking back, Anna always had fun with her friends, but constantly comparing her group to her social networks made her anxious what she may have been missing elsewhere.
Seeing your friends' lives, curated to include only the most flattering tidbits, makes any perceived failure even more detrimental to your own well-being, a reason many Millennials are opting out of interacting online at all.
5. You're Having an Existential Crisis
Some people can't really put their finger on why they feel so iffy about Facebook. At least, that's what writer and University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown undergrad student Max Zell, 23, says about his ex-girlfriend's several attempts to quit Facebook, most of which lasted only a month or two.
He insists that each of her refusals to participate on the social media site stemmed from a different problem with Facebook, for instance, its effect on society: "Sometimes it's tied into an angsty statement about the futility of social media. Sometimes it's a statement idealizing hermitage. I think sometimes it's just a straight up panic of 'IS THIS A DIGITAL REPRESENTATION OF ME?! THIS ISNT ME. I'M ME. THERE CAN'T BE MORE THAN ONE ME. I MUST DESTROY THIS.'"
Many of us have at one time admitted we are "addicted" to Facebook. The mindless scrolling, the joy of getting several "likes" on your status and the simplicity that comes with Facebook birthdays. The experience makes Facebook seem a lot like the Hotel California: You can sign out any time you'd like, but you're never really going to leave.
Eagles paraphrasing aside, Facebook has become so ingrained for millions of users that it's hard to imagine giving it up, but that's exactly what some twenty-somethings are trying to do.
What are your thoughts? Have you quit, or do you know someone who has? Let us know in the comments section below.
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Image: Flickr, mkhmarketing