Advertising on Social Media: What Platform Should You Use?

Person holding tablet with icons of social media platforms on the screen

When it comes to social media advertising the first step is to know which platform is best for you to use. Each platform has unique features to offer depending on what you want. Here is a quick overview of some of the things each platform offers, and general tips for using each one.

 

Facebook

Facebook is great for reaching people ages 25 and up. Post at least once a day for every day your business is in operation. You can use targeted ads to reach the audience you want with as little as five dollars a day.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is only for business professionals and work related topics. This a great place to post a job opening or news on your company. You can use a business LinkedIn page like a Facebook business page to update what’s going on with your company and post about news in your industry. LinkedIn is best for large companies or Business-to-Business (B2B) companies.

Instagram

Instagram is great for high quality photos and minute long videos, usually once a day. Most people pay more attention to the photo than the caption, so make sure to only post attention grabbing content. Instagram stories are another great way to reach your audience. Feel free to post as many times as you want there.

Twitter

Twitter is fast-paced, news and sass centered platform. It can be a great place to quippy comments on local and national news or sales, as well as a great place for customer service representatives to contact your company. It’s better for large companies to use. You can post up to 8 times a day, and should include as many photos and videos with your content. 

Pinterest

Pinterest is great for anyone with a design, DIY or crafty business. Be warned that it’s difficult to build a following on Pinterest and it can be difficult to get regular sales. If you want to do Pinterest, you will need to commit hundreds of hours to making it happen. 

Snapchat

Snapchat is a great way to reach the teenagers, but it’s not a great way to sell product. Like Pinterest, it takes a lot of time and dedication to build a buying audience. However, it can be a great place to build a community and connect more personally with your audience because most people use this site to talk with their friends, not to connect with businesses.

Behind the Scenes: What it’s Like to Work at the RBDC

a man and woman sitting in an office space.

What is it like to work at the Research and Business Development Center (RBDC)? This is

something all our new interns want to know, so here is a quick overview of what to expect when

you do a project with us.

First, you sign up! Go to the job board and find a project you are interested in. You then apply for the project and fill out the application form. If you are interested in more than a project, you only need to apply once. The deadline is one week before the semester starts.

Right before the semester starts, you will receive an email with the Project Interest survey where you will choose your top five projects you would like to work on. Then, the Project Managers and staff will do their best to assign you to one or two of your top five projects. The semester starts with two kickoff trainings where teams will be announced, among other important things. There are weekly trainings throughout the semester where you learn skills that will help you have a successful internship experience. During the first week you can expect to have your first meeting with your client where you will discuss what the project entails. From there the work begins!

After your first meeting, you will begin working with your team to deliver the final product one week before the semester ends. You will work closely with your project manager and an executive mentor to make sure you are adding value to the project and to help you answer any questions you may have about the internship and the project. At the end of the semester, you will put together a final deliverable and give a final presentation to your client.

The process is easy and simple, and the work you do for these companies not only gives you great work experience, but provides valuable information to them. It is a win-win for everyone. If you are interested in working on one of our projects, check out the job board here or apply now by clicking here.

How to Improve Your LinkedIn Profile

Strings making geometric shapes.

LinkedIn is the largest professional social media platform. It is a great place to connect with other professionals and businesses. Just like any social media profile, it is important that your profile is complete and looks good. This is a quick step-by-step guide for how to have a great LinkedIn profile.

Customize Your LinkedIn URL

Customizing your LinkedIn URL makes it easier to search and looks more professional. Just go to your profile, on the right click “Edit Public Profile and URL”, then on the right, under “Edit your custom URL” click the pen and edit the end of your URL to your first and last name.

Profile and Cover Photo

Make sure your profile picture is professional. It looks best if it is just of you. If you do not have a professional photo, have a friend take a picture of you against a brick wall. For the cover photo, find a photo that applies to the field you are going into. You can find high quality, free and royalty-free photos at Pixabay or Unsplash (links).

Headline

Under your name you can add a headline. In your headline, include the industry or job you want to get in to and what you are looking for. Something like “Social Media Manager Enthusiast Looking for More Opportunities” or “Up and Coming Business Analyst” are great if you are looking for a new job.

Summary

Your summary is like the summary on your resume. It is two to three sentences that showcase your best skills. You can easily copy and paste your summary from your resume and insert it here.

Experience | Education | Volunteering

The easiest way to complete your experience, education and volunteering experience is take everything you did on your resume (link) and copy and paste it into your profile. That way your jobs and bullets are the best they can be.

If you do not have your volunteer experience on your resume, still add any that is relevant.

Skills

List all the skills you have. Do not be afraid to use the keyword list you created when making your resume or to Google a list of skills and find the ones that apply to you. You cannot have too many skills!

How to Write an Effective Cover Letter

Person typing on a computer

Cover letters are a great way to expound your experience, answer questions for the recruiter before they meet you, and give you another way to brag about yourself. Although many jobs do not require a cover letter, many still do, and many give you the option to submit one. So how do you write a cover letter?

Write It Like an Essay

Cover letters follow the same format as your English essays: introduction, main paragraphs, and conclusion. Your cover letter should have at least three paragraphs, and should not exceed a single page. Make sure to set your margins to narrow and your text spacing to single space so you can include as much information as possible.

Introduction

A cover letter is a letter, so you’ll start with a hello. Usually you’ll want to start with “Dear” or “Hello” and then the company name.

Your introduction should start with a hook. Put your best foot forward and show them immediately why you are worth meeting. An easy way to create your hook is take the first bullet in your summary from your resume and turn it into a full sentence.

Summary:

  • 2 years of experience in marketing, communications, and business management with a focus on data analysis, marketing plans and strategies, and design

Cover Letter Hook:

I have two years of experience in marketing, communications, and business management with a focus on data analysis, marketing plans and strategies, and design.

After your hook, you can include an additional sentence that further showcases your skills or education. The last sentence of your introduction should say something like “Because of my experience, I believe I would be an excellent fit for (job title)”

Main Paragraphs

In your main paragraphs you want to highlight your skills in more detail. This is a great place to tell the story behind a project you mentioned in your resume, or to show off additional skills.

For example, “I always exceed the expectations given to me. When I first joined Company, Inc. I volunteered to help with the programming project and not only completed all my tasks early, but helped my coworkers when they had questions or issues. Because of that we were able to finish the project ahead of schedule and saved the company $500k in work expenses while our project made $1 million in the first month of release. This experience taught me the importance of organization, time management and building strong workplace relationships.”

Try to highlight two-three experiences or projects in your main paragraphs.

Conclusion

Your conclusion will only be one to three sentences. This is the place to explain any gaps in your work history or to specify that you will be moving to the area soon if the job is out of state. Use your last sentence to thank you the recruiter for reviewing your documents.

For example, “I will be moving to Denver by January 16th and could begin work as soon as January 20th. Thank you for taking the time to review my resume and cover letter. I look forward to hearing from you.”

Sign Off

A cover letter may be written like an essay, but it’s still a letter, so make sure to sign off. Usually you’ll use “Sincerely” and then use your first and last name.

 

Now you have a cover letter! For more information or ideas, check out these articles from Glassdoor and The Balance Careers.

Introducing Our Newest Program: Entrepreneurial Support Center

Man and woman writing on white board

We are excited to announce our newest program: the Entrepreneurial Support Center! This program pairs Brigham Young University – Idaho (BYU-Idaho) students with graduates of the Start and Grow My Business (SGMB) class to provide advising on various topics designed to improve their startup business.

This program had a successful pilot during Winter Semester 2019 and is now on its way to becoming a full blown program within the Research and Business Development Center (RBDC). BYU-Idaho students from various majors, including Management, Economics, Finance and Marketing, work in teams of two to three and contribute a total of 80-100 work hours per client over the course of one to two weeks. They advise on business plan assessment and development, understanding your financial statements, competitive analysis, social media and marketing, cash management, and pricing strategy. SGMB clients pick one or two of those topics to focus on during their time with the team. This is a great way to help startup businesses grow in the area, and provide further work experience for students looking to better understand and apply the business principles they learn.

This program is currently limited to SGMB graduates, though there is a possibility to expand it to any small business owner in the future. If you’re a SGMB graduate and want to learn more, visit bit.ly/ESC-Info (this link is case sensitive).

Students who are interested in working as an adviser on these projects should contact the RBDC at info@RBDCenter.org for more information.

Along with the ESC program, we are piloting a Brown Bag Forums program each month. These forums are an hour and a half long presentations from local organizations and individuals who are experts in their field. Desserts and drinks are provided, but you’ll need to bring your own lunch. Not only is it a great place to learn, but an excellent opportunity to network and learn about local resources for small businesses. Stay tune to our Facebook page, Research and Business Development Center, for forum details.

How to Write a Resume That Stands Out

Writing a resume is one of the hardest parts of the job search, especially if you are a student, newly graduated or about to make a career change. To make it more confusing, everyone has an opinion on how a resume should be written and what should be included. If you are feeling overwhelmed or frustrated, you are not alone! This article is a step-by-step guide for how to write a great resume that will improve your chances of getting an interview.

CONTENT

First thing first, what kind of job do you want? It is tempting to write your resume in a way that would do well for tons of different fields, but the vaguer your resume is, the less likely you are to get a job. Figure out what one or two types of jobs you want, then as you are writing your resume, cater it towards those jobs; that way you are more likely to get a job offer you are excited to accept.

 

Step 1: Keywords

The best way to write your resume is to include common keywords or descriptions into your resume. Take some time to find five job descriptions that match what you want. Read the responsibilities sections carefully and write down important keywords you notice like hospitality, marketing, customer service, data analysis, research, reporting, writing, and leadership. Once you’ve done that for all five jobs descriptions, you will have a great list of what keywords are most important and if there are any that repeat through multiple descriptions. Now take that list, and write your resume based on those qualifications.

Why do you want to have these keywords? It has to do with ATS, the software Human Resources (HR) departments use to weed out resumes. This software scans the submitted documents to find keywords from the job descriptions and ranks you based on how many it finds. The more keywords you have the more likely the software is to pass your resume on to the HR representatives for review.

 

Step 2: Update Your Information

Now it is time to start editing and writing your resume. First double check that your most recent experience and education is on your resume. Also check your contact information, is it still accurate?

 

Step 3: Work Experience

Once everything is up-to-date and accurate, it is time to start writing. When most people write a resume, they list what they did in short, 5-10 word segments. This is not bad, but you can do better. In each bullet, include what you did, how you did it and if possible, a stat, fact, cool number or information that shows how what you did was important. Remember to include those important keywords you found!

For example, you want to go into marketing. You take twenty minutes to find five jobs in marketing that you are interested in and read the descriptions carefully to find the important keywords and responsibilities. You notice that several of the job postings include keywords like marketing, e-commerce, marketing plan, strategy, and analyze data. You have some marketing experience including marketing plans and strategy and you know how to analyze data, but you do not have any experience with ecommerce. Do not worry! If you do not have experience, you do not have experience. Now that you have a list of important keywords, you can start adding them into your bullets.

Old Bullet:

  • Help with marketing efforts

New Bullet

  • Aid in creating marketing plans and strategies by analyzing data to meet company KPIs resulting in a 10% increase in sales

Doesn’t that sound far more impressive?

The hard part of this is the stat/fact part. If you do not have an exact number, find a number that you are comfortable defending, like 10%, 20+ etc. If you do not have a good stat to show an increase, you can always include information about how much it was. How many customers a day? How many events in a year? How much money? And if you cannot come up with something like that, but you are confident that your efforts did make a difference like increase customer satisfaction, increase profits, grew business prospects, etc. then just say that.

But what if you do not have related experience? Maybe you’ve been working at a grocery store or in fast food all through college. Do not fret! You can still do this! Let’s say you’ve been working in fast food since your teenage years and you now want to get into business consulting or accounting. It may seem like those years will not apply, but they can. Take some time to highlight your responsibilities and skills using longer sentences and business language.

Old Bullet:

  • Take customer orders and answer complaints

New Bullet:

  • Serve 30-50 customers each shift with excellent customer service and accuracy, ensuring to upsell products to increase purchase amount

Did you ask if they wanted a drink or dessert, or suggest they get a combo meal? That’s upselling. It is hard to come up with at first, but practice finding new ways to describe your experience using more formal, business language. Soon all your bullets will show off your excellent experience, whether or not it directly applies to what career you are pursuing.

Writing with a what, how and stat will make your bullets longer, and that is okay! Do not be afraid to have a bullet that is two lines long. It means you are more likely to get called into an interview because the HR representative already knows a ton about your experience. This format will also help your resume stand out among the rest of the resumes that are just a short series of lists.

 

Step 4: Education

Now that all your bullets rock under your job descriptions, let’s talk about your education section. Your education section should include the name of your school, the type of degree or certification received, name of your major and the date you received it or expect to receive it. Nice and simple. Do not clutter this section with an emphasis, minor or listing what topics you are learning. These often distract from the important information – your degree and when you received it.

 

Step 5: Volunteering

If you are going into a social or human services or non-profit field having a volunteer section is going to be extremely beneficial. If you are not going into a field that wants you involved in the community, then only add a volunteering section if you think it adds additional value to your resume. If you already have experience in leadership in a work experience, then you probably do not need to highlight your leadership experience in volunteering. If you want to add something about a mission, church calling or Boy Scouts, consider if that experience will add value to your resume. If it adds something you are lacking elsewhere on your resume, add it. If not, do not worry about it.

If you do include volunteering experiences, write them like the bullets under your work experience, and only include a max of three bullets per experience.

 

Step 6: Skills

Now for the easy part. Your skills section. A skills section is important to highlight your experience with different software, programs or your general skill set. This is another great way to stuff your resume with important keywords so that ATS software flags you as a good fit. In general, you want to have between 6-16 skills listed. Do not feel like you have to make any up, just put what you know.

Not sure what you would put as a skill? Some ideas for skills are:

  • Customer Service
  • Hospitality
  • Data Analysis
  • Training/Mentoring/Teaching/Coaching
  • Critical Thinking
  • Organized
  • Punctual
  • Marketing
  • Sales
  • Software – Excel, Word, PowerPoint, etc.
  • People Oriented
  • CRMs
  • B2B Sales

There are a few don’ts for the skills sections: leadership, problem solving, detail-oriented, etc. These words are so overused, and cannot be proved unless you provide greater detail, that they do not add value to your resume.

 

Step 7: Summary

Okay, so now you have some skills, experience, education and even volunteering written down. What about a summary? A summary can be an excellent way to show a recruiter you are a great fit in a short amount of time. Most recruiters only spend a few seconds on each resume before making a decision, so you have to get to the point right away or risk being overlooked. A summary can be a great way to show off what you can do, and let the rest of your resume support your claim.

But what to include? Include the number of years you have worked in that field. Highlight your education, especially if the posting is looking for a higher degree. Pack in some of those keywords, and just keep it to one or two sentences. Here is an example:

  • 2 years of experience in marketing, communications, and business management with a focus on data analysis, marketing plans and strategies, and design
  • Ready for a new career that will enhance my skills and bring new challenges

Writing them like bullets will help you keep them short and to the point. It is okay to express what you are looking for – a new career, to begin your career, a place that offers new opportunities or growth, etc.

 

DESIGN

Know the Industry Standard

First step to design is knowing what is standard for your field. Does your field expect highly stylized, colorful resumes with little icons, or text only, no design? If you are not sure, Google your field and “resume” to see what examples come up.

Once you know what resume design is expected for your field you can start making your resume look professional. A great way to do this is to emulate some of the resumes you find online. Do not copy the exact format and texts, but take an element from here, a line from there, a font from a third one, etc. Make it your own while still fitting into the expected mold.

 

Keep it to One Page

Most organizations expect your resume to be one page, unless you have too much experience to fit onto one page. Here is a tip to save space and make it to one page: set your margins to narrow – it gives you a ton of space for your long bullets.

 

Be Consistent!

Whatever you do, have a consistent format! Stick to two fonts, usually a serif and a san serif. These two types of fonts make your resume easier to read while giving it a small element of design to help it stand out. Usually, you want to have the san serif as your bullet text and the serif as your headers, because san serifs are easier to read in small print.

Good Serifs: Garamond, Times New Roman

Good San Serifs: Arial, Calibri

Even if your field standard for resumes is lines of text only, you can still incorporate a little color. A dark purple, blue or green can look very nice on a resume, and help it pop a little without being obnoxious or distracting.

 

Organize Your Resume With Your Most Important Information At the Top

Lastly, how to organize your resume is up to you. You will always want to put the most important information first – which is usually your summary, then skills, then either experience or education. Based on the descriptions you read, is it more important to highlight your experience or would your education be more important? Whichever is more important goes first.

Hint: For most newly graduated students or students looking for internships, your education is going to be more important than your work experience.

 

EXTRA TIPS AND TRICKS

DO:

  • Always write numbers using their symbol (1,2,3,4 etc.)
  • Provide a website with your portfolio if applicable
  • Abbreviate whenever possible such as $200K instead of $200 thousand or 200 thousands dollars
  • Make sure any software or special programs are spelled correctly
  • Use commas and semi-colons (;) when you need them; it can help the bullet read easier and reduce the number of bullets you need
  • Brag about yourself and what you did using business language and long bullets

DON’T:

  • Never have a period at the end of a bullet. These are sentence fragments, not full sentences
  • Never leave a single word on a line
  • Do not include a picture of yourself or any identifying elements like gender, age or race. Unless you are applying to be an actor or model this is not information the HR department is supposed to have. Many HR representatives will automatically eliminate a resume with a photo on it because it may open them up for a discrimination lawsuit

 

Last thing, take a deep breath. You’ve got this! If you are still unsure or want some more help, check out these resources at Monster.com, NovoResume and Resume Genius.

Save the date: Fall 2015 Entrepreneurs Platform

Save the date for the Fall 2015 Entrepreneurs’ Platform hosted by the RBDC and Founders Forum. The Entrepreneurs’ Platform allows business owners, entrepreneurs and mentors a setting to make connections and link to needed resources.

Date: Tuesday, November 17th, 2015
Time: 12:00-1:30 p.m.
Location: Eastern Idaho Technical College 1600 S 25th E, Idaho Falls, ID 83404
Lunch Served
RSVP m.luthy@rbdcenter.org

Each presenter will present their business idea to the audience and link to needed resources and potential partnerships to expand their businesses. Each of the entrepreneurs invited to present has demonstrated growth potential.

Construction Solutions Company, LLC
Presenter: Jared Turner- Partner

Construction Solutions Company provides innovative solutions to the construction process. Utilizing the most cutting edge technology in design and construction, CSS provides owners with cost effective turnkey solutions to any size project.

www.constructionsolutionsco.com

Pocket Innerwear, INC
Presenter: Katie Larsen-Owner

Pocket Innerwear is on a mission to make life easier and more manageable through pockets. We make a handsfree, in-touch lifestyle both possible and fashionable. Our TechWear serves anyone from a cellphone user to a type 1 diabetic.

www.pocketinnerwear.com

Special thanks to our event sponsor
Eastern Idaho Technical College