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The 12 Best Free (and Private) Email Accounts and Service Providers of 2022

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The 12 Best Free (and Private) Email Accounts and Service Providers of 2022

You need an email account — whether it’s for networking, job recruitment, downloading resources, transferring files, setting reminders, meeting with colleagues, or something else.

Even with the rise of office chat platforms, you still depend on email for a surprising number of things. But unfortunately, not every email service is completely free. And even the free ones might not be the easiest to use or have all the features you need.

It can be a challenge to find an email service provider at no cost that balances the right features with usability. To help make your search easier, we put together a list of the different types of email accounts you can set up, followed by the best email service providers you can host your account on right now for free.

Types of Email Accounts

There are two main types of email service providers to choose from: Email clients and Webmail.

Let’s briefly go over these different types of providers.

Email clients you’ve likely heard of include Microsoft Outlook, Mozilla Thunderbird, and iCloud Mail.

Examples of webmail providers include Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, and Hotmail.

Now, take a look at seven of the best free email service providers (and five of the best email accounts for privacy) you can get your hands on today — both webmail and email clients included. For each email service provider, we’ve highlighted a unique feature to help you find the best fit.

1. Gmail: Best for Offline Accessibility

Best Free Email Accounts: Gmail

Unique Feature: Native File Collaboration

Sign up here.

Type of email: Webmail

Who should use it: Anyone who already uses and loves the rest of Google’s products.

It might seem like an obvious top pick, but Gmail is just too versatile not to get our first slot. According to Litmus Labs, Gmail has the second-highest email provider market share (behind Apple iPhone’s native email app).

Ironically, one of the reasons Gmail has become so popular is because of all the communication options in your inbox that don’t involve email.

Gmail is a regular email inbox tool you can access once you have a Google account. Since it’s built into Google Suite, you can also access a group of free apps that allow you to chat, video conference, and share files with the people in your contact list.

Google Hangouts, available from your inbox’s left sidebar (or the right — you can customize how your inbox is displayed), lets you text and video chat with other Gmail users for the things that might not warrant an email message.

Like most other email accounts today, Gmail also has an intuitive calendar where you can set meetings and reminders.

Pro Tip: You can also use a free product like HubSpot Meetings to easily schedule meetings without back-and-forth emails.

Unlike other email accounts, you can use your Gmail address to log into and manage your YouTube account, as well as collaborate on shared documents and spreadsheets right from a cloud-based Google Drive.

Offering a generous 15 GB of free email storage, Gmail does everything it can to make your inbox less chaotic, including advanced filters that automatically push emails into separate folders as they arrive. And none of these functions costs a dime.

Notable Features:

  • Allows you to un-send emails
  • 15GB free email storage
  • Accessible from any internet-connected device
  • 99.9% protection from suspicious/spam emails
  • Texts suggestions that help you write emails faster

2. AOL: Best for Interface Organization

aol best free email account and service providerBest Free Email Accounts: AOL

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Unique Feature: Unlimited Storage

Sign up here.

Type of email: Webmail

Who should use it: Anyone who uses email for most of their communication.

America Online (I feel nostalgic just typing those words) has quietly kept up with today’s standards for a good user experience and is now once again one of the best free email accounts available to you.

Purchased by Verizon in 2015, AOL delivers your email from its classic news-driven homepage and comes with the contemporary spam filters and virus protection you’d expect from your email provider. You can also send text and instant messages from specific windows in your email inbox.

AOL does have something over Gmail, though: unlimited storage. Additionally, you can import email contacts from a CSV, TXT, or LDIF file, so you’re not creating your “buddy list” (get it?) from scratch.

Notable Features:

  • Unlimited storage
  • Highly customizable
  • Offers a spellchecker to reduce errors

3. Outlook: Best for Multiple App Integrations

Best Free Email Accounts: Outlook

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Unique Feature: Multiple App Integrations

Sign up here.

Type of email: Email client

Who should use it: Anyone who uses many different platforms to connect with others.

If you ever cringed at the sight of a “Hotmail.com” email address, you can thank Outlook for this outdated domain name.

But there’s good news: Microsoft has reinvented its longstanding email service, and your free Outlook.com email address has many advanced features waiting for you.

While it touts a calendar and message filter similar to Gmail, Outlook also integrates with several other popular communication apps.

For example, you can connect Skype, Facebook, PowerPoint, PayPal, and even task-management software such as Trello — making it very easy to reach and work with non-Outlook users without leaving your inbox.

Outlook offers 15 GB of free storage for each user, along with a super-clean interface.

Notable Features:

  • Like with Excel or Word, you can use Add-ins with Outlook
  • Easy access to other Microsoft apps like Skype
  • Provides aliases that add anonymity to your email
  • Excellent email organization
  • Great search feature

4. Yahoo! Mail: Best for Lots of Storage

Best Free Email Accounts: Yahoo Mail

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Unique Feature: Media and attachment history

Sign up here.

Type of email: Webmail

Who should use it: Creatives and anyone who sends and receives attachments frequently via email.

Yahoo! Mail, another well-known platform, sits just behind AOL in storage space with a whopping 1 TB (that’s a terabyte) for free, along with a few key social media integrations.

You can have custom background themes and search for key information from your inbox with Yahoo! Mail.

Yahoo! Mail makes it easy to find every photo, video, and document you’ve ever attached or received via email in their tabs on your inbox’s sidebar. This makes the platform especially appealing to those who share documents regularly or simply want an album made of every photo they’ve ever had shared.

Notable Features:

  • Connects seamlessly with Yahoo Calendar
  • Outstanding email organization
  • Customizable themes
  • Instant notifications for new emails
  • Decent security to keep your account safe and secure

5. iCloud Mail: Best for Data Encryption

Best Free Email Accounts: iCloud Mail

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Unique Feature: Label senders as VIPs

Sign up here.

Type of email: Webmail

Who should use it: people who use Mac and want everything on one system.

If you’re a Mac user, you may want to consider using iCloud Mail as your email provider. Their free email account comes with 5GB of storage that you can use to sync your photos, files, or email.

However, it’s important to note that storage is shared between all of your apps and devices — so if you take a lot of photos on your iPhone, you may eat into your email storage allowance for the month. Upgraded plans start at $0.99/month and go up to $9.99/month.

One of the most significant advantages of using iCloud over other email providers on this list is the ease of integration. Apple builds its desktop and iPhone mail apps with all email clients in mind, but it pays special attention to making the experience delightful for iCloud users.

Notable Features:

  • Search functionality
  • Ability to label senders as VIP to automatically filter important messages and save time
  • One-click “Unsubscribe” feature
  • 5GB free email storage

6. Mozilla Thunderbird: Best for Managing Multiple Accounts

Best Free Email Accounts: Mozilla Thunderbird

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Unique Feature: Customization features and the ability to open multiple emails in tabs

Sign up here.

Type of email: Email clients

Who should use it: Anyone looking for a simple but customizable email inbox.

Thunderbird, a free email application from Mozilla, known for Firefox, offers a quick email inbox setup and a simple, easy-to-use user interface.

The app offers customizable features, such as theme settings and app extensions to improve your email experience. The email app also allows you to open multiple emails in tabs, similar to how you would open various web pages in Firefox browsers.

Notable Features:

  • It has a large extension library
  • Integrates with Google Calendar to make task and meeting scheduling easier
  • Smart email organization to reduce cluster

7. Yandex Mail: Best for Translating Emails

Best Free Email Accounts: Yandex Mail

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Unique Feature: 10 GB of free cloud storage

Sign up here.

Type of email: Webmail

Who should use it: anyone seeking a free email with additional storage capabilities.

Yandex is a Russian web company that offers a global email tool. You can sign up for a free account with the tool, link it to your Facebook, Twitter, or Gmail accounts, and personalize your email inbox.

Like many of the other providers on this list, Yandex’s email inbox can be set to filter or prioritize emails so you see messages from real people. It can also recognize keywords in messages and subject lines and organize emails into categorized inboxes. Additionally, users who sign up for Yandex mail get 10 GB of free cloud storage.

Notable Features:

  • Auto-reminder for unreplied mails
  • In-built translator
  • Read receipts on sent emails
  • 10 GB free cloud storage

8. Zoho

Best Free Email Accounts For Privacy: Zoho

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Unique Feature: 25 Business Addresses

Sign up here.

Type of email: Webmail

Who should use it: startups and small businesses.

This is the first of the free email accounts for privacy to make our list, but it holds a ton of potential for businesses.

The first thing you’ll notice about Zoho is its user-friendliness. From integrating with Google Drive, Box, and other cloud-based file managers, to its built-in task manager, this email service offers a simple way to accomplish all of your daily tasks.

The real difference-maker, though, is the ability to customize the domain name for up to 25 connected email addresses. Want to replace “@zoho.com” with the name of your business’s website? You can do so under Zoho Lite, which gives you 5 GB for free — all under [email protected]

Notable Features:

  • Doesn’t scan your inbox for advertisement purposes
  • Emails are in an encrypted format
  • Notifies you if your messages don’t deliver
  • Integrates easily with the Zoho CRM

9. ProtonMail

Best Free Email Accounts For Privacy: ProtonMail

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Unique Feature: Encrypted email

Sign up here.

Type of email: Webmail

Who should use it: Anyone who sends and receives sensitive information.

ProtonMail offers just 500 MB of free space, but for the worthy trade of encrypted email, allowing you to send messages that nobody else can see and disappear after a month.

What’s the catch? Is the service hard to use? ProtonMail is easy to use on any device without any software needed to encrypt your emails, as with most webmail platforms. Its inbox interface is as easy to understand at a glance as the other email services on this list.

And the tool offers quick color-coded labels to help you further organize which emails deserve the most care and protection.

Notable Features:

  • No personal information is required to open an account
  • Compatible with other email providers
  • Optimized inbox to boost productivity
  • End-to-end data encryption

10. GMX Mail

Best Free Email Accounts For Privacy: GMX Mail

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Unique Feature: Alias email addresses

Sign up here.

Type of email: Webmail

Who should use it: Anyone who needs multiple emails with one central inbox.

While you may not have heard of GMX Mail, it’s been around for quite a while (since 1997) — and it has a bunch of features that make it worth considering.

First off, GMX offers 65 GB of storage. That’s a lot of storage for a free email service. In fact, they claim that it allows you to keep nearly half a million messages in your Inbox!

Another feature worth noting is the ability to send large attachments. While many services have low caps for your email attachments, GMX Mail allows you to send files up to 50MB. That’s great if you share a ton of photos, presentations, or other large files from your account.

But the feature of GMX Mail that really sets it apart is the ability to set up to 10 alias email addresses all from within one account. This can be useful in many situations — both personally and professionally.

On a personal note, you could use one alias for all of your online purchases and logins — to keep marketing emails separate from your private messages. From a business perspective, multiple email addresses can help manage role-based emails such as [email protected] or [email protected]

Notable Features:

  • Spam filter to protect your inbox from suspicious messages
  • Easy-to-use inbox management templates
  • Mail collector for keeping all your emails (even from other service providers) in a single place

11. Trustifi

Best Free Email Accounts For Privacy: Triustifi

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Unique Feature: Data loss prevention

Sign up here.

Type of email: Webmail

Who should use it: Anyone who doesn’t want to choose between having a secure and functional inbox.

Trustifi combines the best of a productive and secure email provider in one place.

With available whitelisting and blacklisting options, you can easily choose who you allow to send you messages. Trustifi is also compliant with HIPAA/HITECH, PII, GDPR, FSA, FINRA, LGPD, CCPA, and more, so you don’t have to worry about losing your account overnight.

You can even use the Trustifi add-on to add an extra security layer to your Gmail or Outlook inbox.

Notable Features:

  • Ransomware and fraud detection
  • Ability to set expiry dates on sent emails
  • Seamless integrations with other email systems or service providers
  • End-to-end email encryption

12. Mailfence

Best Free Email Accounts For Privacy: Mailfence

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Unique Feature: Legal protection

Sign up here.

Type of email: Webmail

Who should use it: Anyone looking for a secure email account that integrates with other tools.

Mailfence is a secure browser-based email service provider based in Belgium. Given the laws in Belgium, all your data is locked away from any third-party access.

Their free plan gives you 500 MB of email space. But to truly enjoy the best of Mailfence, you’ll have to hop on a paid plan that starts at €2.50/month.

You’d be able to create up to 10 aliases on the paid plan and have 5GB of email space, among many other features.

With Mailfence, it’s easy to organize your day and business because you’d be able to easily integrate your email account with your contacts, calendar, and documents.

Notable Features:

  • Quick integration with a suite of tools
  • True OpenPGP end-to-end encryption

How to Make an Email

No matter which provider you choose, creating an email is a simple process. But, it’s still important to know best practices so you can have one that fits your needs the best. The purpose of an email is to provide a space for you to have easy, secure communications. Follow the steps below to create an email:

1. Choose An Email Provider

Select an email provider based on your needs as a user. Think about which features, such as top-tier security, email scheduling capabilities, or integrations, are the most important to you. Also, consider how much storage you will need and what type of provider works best.

2. Choose a Username

Select a username based on the purpose of the account. If it is a professional account, then your name with a significant number will do. The name of your business will do if it’s a business account. You might also consider your [email protected] for professional accounts.

3. Create a Password

Email providers generally have minimum requirements for how secure your password must be. These often include a number or a special character. Follow these guidelines and choose a password that is very unique and has a variety of letters, numbers, and characters to make it very secure.

4. Secure Your Account

Many email providers include ways to add extra security to your account. Take advantage of these features to keep your account and data safe. Setting up two-factor authentication is a great place to start.

5. Write a Signature

Set up an email signature for your account. This saves a lot of time as you are writing emails and helps keep your closing consistent. Include information like your name, your title, and your contact information.

Making the Most of Your Email

And with that, you have some of the best options for free email accounts this year. But who knows? Your next email address could be entirely different while giving you just what you need to succeed.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in March 2018 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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How to create a user flow map for your website & app

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How to create a user flow map for your website & app



In the highly competitive world of rock climbing, some athletes perform an extreme version of ascent: a climber performs a flash climb when they complete a route on their first attempt. Climbers value world record flash climbs because each climber only gets one attempt to set a record.

As difficult as flash climbs are, they aren’t extreme enough for some climbers. In a flash ascent, climbers can study the route, receive advice, and formulate plans. For climbers not satisfied with that level of challenge, onsight climbs are performed by climbers who not only have never completed the ascent before but haven’t even seen the route.

Extreme athletes seek out unique challenges, taking pride in accomplishing things that most people cannot. While the risk of failure adds unique value to sports, it adds unnecessary difficulty to business processes. In the business world, you don’t define success by creating unique challenges but by creating unique solutions to minimize challenges. One of those solutions is a user flow map—a method of diagramming the pathways users take through your interface.

A good user flow map helps businesses understand their users’ journeys, identify pain points, and plan for contingencies. This guide explains user flows, how to create user flow maps, and some best practices for designing your diagrams.

Key takeaways:

  • User journey describes the user’s entire experience with your company, while user flow describes the steps they follow using your interface.
  • Some common shapes like ovals, rectangles, diamonds, and parallelograms have commonly understood uses in flow charts.
  • Follow best practices and use the experts at Optimizely to level up your digital experience.

 

User flow vs. user journey

While user flow and user journey have similar names and overlap in significant ways, you should be aware of important differences between these concepts.

The user journey encompasses every aspect of the user’s experience with your company. The user journey begins when a user first becomes aware of your business (or becomes aware of a need you can solve) and ends with their last interaction with your company. That means that while you can’t know exactly when a user journey begins or ends, you can use customer relationship management software to identify where a user is on their journey and how to move them to the next step.

The user flow overlaps with the user journey, but it specifically describes the pathway users follow on your website or application. For example, a user flow may begin when a user visits your website for the first time and end with a purchase. Those activities are a part of the larger user journey, but the user flow is more interested in the experience users have with your website or app.

The user journey is interested in the user’s emotions, tangible and intangible interactions, ongoing communication, relationship building, etc.—the “people” side of the process; while the user flow is interested in the “technology” side of the process—the user’s clicks, page visits and subscriptions. The user flow and user journey describe different elements of the same relationship between your business and your users.

image source

 

User flow diagraming

Your users won’t ever see your user flow map, but you and your team will refer to it throughout the life of your website or app, so while it doesn’t have to be the prettiest document, it should still be clear and user-friendly.

While the rules of user flow diagraming aren’t set in stone, you should know some best practices and generally understand flowchart creation syntax.

  • Ovals represent the start and end point of your flow chart. Depending on your process, your user flow might have more than one start point and more than one endpoint.
  • Squares or rectangles represent individual pages or steps. In general, flow charts, squares and rectangles can be any step of a process, but in web and app design, squares and rectangles represent individual pages in the user interface.
  • Diamonds represent decisions that users must make. For example, when a user first attempts to log in to your platform, your website may prompt them to connect a Google or Facebook account, or they may log in with an email or continue as a guest. Depending on their choice, their journey through your website or app may diverge as you deliver a different experience based on their choices.
  • Parallelograms represent input required by the user. For example, you may require them to input a serial number to activate their product or provide a shipping address to receive a service.
  • Arrows indicate the direction of the flow. Your flow may include loops, crossroads, and diverging and converging pathways, so indicating the sequence of elements is essential for your user flow map to be readable. 

Generally, those four shapes, along with arrows, are the foundational building blocks of your user flow map, but you can always use additional shapes, colors or other design elements to communicate any information you believe is relevant. Remember that the purpose of a user flow map isn’t just to follow the rules or check a box but to communicate information about the user flow. The example below shows additional shapes that other companies have used when creating flow charts.

image source

 

User flow design principles

As with any form of communication, user flow maps lose some value when they omit relevant information and include too much irrelevant information. Designing a successful user flow map includes balancing several considerations to maximize the usefulness of your diagram.

1. Establish a level of detail

If your user flow maps are too detailed, they become convoluted and difficult to read. If they aren’t detailed enough, they aren’t useful. Establishing the correct level of granularity is an important first step in designing a user flow map.

When it comes to designing diagrams, the golden principle is to consider the needs of your users. What kind of questions will they be trying to answer with your chart? What level of experience will they have? What will they be using this chart to do? Answering those questions will help you define the right level of detail for your user flow map.

2. Consider alternatives

One of the reasons user flow maps are useful is because they allow designers to visually parse the journey users go on as they traverse your website or app. Do your best to consider every alternative when designing your user flow map.

For example, what will you do if users add items to their cart but leave without checking out? What will you do if a user provides a billing address but not a shipping address? What if a user requests a free trial but then buys the full version? Your user flow map will help you identify these crossroads and plan for contingencies.

3. Use the right digital experience platform

Your users’ digital experience matters. Optimizely is a powerful digital experience platform with expert tools to help with automation, A/B testing, content management, and much more.

A user flow map only describes your customers’ journey as they interact with your digital interface. While a user map can help identify pain points and visually inspire solutions, the key to improving your customer’s experience is to improve the content of your website or app.

 

If you’re ready to take your digital experiences to the next level, get started today to set up a meeting with an Optimizely representative today.


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What It Is And How It Works

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What It Is And How It Works

Is a dedicated development team model the right option? Despite seeing several statistics showing how outsourcing helps minimize development costs, you are still determining if it’s the right choice for you.

Well, when it comes to choosing a suitable outsourcing model, one of the essential things is knowing what your requirements are and which model will benefit your business. Choosing the best of the three outsourcing models is a difficult task.

Don’t worry. We are here for you.

This guide will help you decide which model is best for your business. Specifically, we will focus on a “dedicated development team model.” You will know what makes the dedicated team model better than other models. Let’s dig right in!

What is the dedicated development  team model?

Dedicated development team model is a type of business model that outsources software development . Usually, the client and the service provider sign an agreement that provides long-term software specialists. This is one of the most prevalent partnership models with fixed prices.

In the dedicated development team model, the team works on a specific project full-time, reporting directly to the client. The outsourcing company assists clients in recruiting, administrative support, and maintenance. This model works best for long-term projects.

There are many benefits to the dedicated team model, but to make an informed decision, we must also consider the alternatives.

Dedicated development team model vs. Time and Material Model

Another format that is usually compared with a dedicated development model is the time and materials model. In the time and material model, clients pay for the time and effort. This model gives scope for in-depth research, but it doesn’t guarantee the client will work with the same team throughout the project.

The time & frame of this model suits short-term projects and software that doesn’t require regular updates. Both models have their perks.

To conclude, time & frame models are best for short term projects, while the dedicated team model is best for long-term and vague requirements.

When to choose a dedicated team model?

A dedicated development team model can be beneficial for certain types of businesses. Your focus should be to determine if this suits your business type. Here’s, a quick checklist that will reduce your brainstorming :

  • When your business is in the early stages, i.e., a startup,
  • When the scope of work is vague,
  • When working on a complex and long-term project.

This model is perfect if you are one of the businesses that may need to extend the contract further.Lately, we have discussed vague requirements and the liberty to extend the scope. Yes, that’s the most significant advantage of the dedicated team model, but the real question is how this works. To begin with, we will have to know how the dedicated development team model works.

How does the DT management model work?

Dedicated team management is divided into four steps. Read below :

Discovery Phase :

The first and foremost step is to find out the client’s needs. During this discovery phase, the company and client sit down together to discuss requirements, budget, and how to manage the team.

In short, the following things are discussed in the discovery phase:

  • What are the project scopes?
  • What is the required number of team members?
  • Figure out the skills and expertise required in the team.
  • Negotiate the development costs.

Team Set Up

Following that, the company selects team members based on requirements. The number of developers, designers, project managers, and quality assistants depends on the requirements of the client. Companies begin to hire developers based on their requirements and demands. The core member of the team consists of :

The dedicated team’s structure consists of the following members

UX/UI designers

UX/UI designers work to ensure that users have an easy and enjoyable experience while using the software.

Quality assurance specialists

These members monitor, inspect, and propose a measure to improve the software according to the client’s needs.

Projects managers

Managers are responsible for teams productivity and ensure client demands are being fulfilled

DevOps engineers

DevOps engineers are specialists who have a wide range of knowledge of development and operations. This includes coding, infrastructure management, and all necessary methodologies.

Front-end & Backend Developers

Front-end developers design the visual aspect of the website to make it easy to navigate and useful, while back-end developers refer to the structure that helps the website function properly.

Development Phase

The development phase is when the team starts to work on the project. The dedicated development team model is managed by the client’s team, therefore, the client assigns work to team members. The next big task is to establish a communication bridge for regular meetings, reports, and progress.

Besides these developments, they also facilitate the following tasks :

  • Assign tasks and monitor them regularly.
  • Manage costs and taxes.
  • Establish a proper work environment.

In this phase, roles and responsibilities are outlined, and a development plan is created, in house team. Along with that, the team starts to keep track of progress and milestones (e.g., daily calls, reviews of issues and progress, etc.).

Once the team is set up , the main task is to keep up with the progress and manage the process well. After completion of  software, it is  released to the client’s end-users for testing, deployment, etc.

Well , the role of outsourcing companies doesn’t end here.

In the dedicated development team model, work continues; clients still need to update and improve in design, structure, and features. The client and the outsourcing company sign contracts that let them extend work boundaries.

Besides this, the client also gets access to all the insidious work. Such as  clients can monitor teams and management and all the other management systems.

Conclusion

To sum up , Dedicated development team model can be beneficial for businesses looking to build apps or software at a reasonable cost with minimal effort required on their part, especially if you have a small budget for your project.

Besides, you must explore your requirements and needs and then decide which model is suitable for you.

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Looking for a Content Marketing Job? Follow This Advice To Get Noticed

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Looking for a Content Marketing Job? Follow This Advice To Get Noticed

Does anyone enjoy job hunting regardless of the circumstances?

But if you’ve recently lost your content marketing job or fear the ax might fall soon, you feel pressure to do it – and like you have no time to waste.

The good news is that excellent content marketing jobs are available for the taking (or the making if you’re entrepreneurially minded.)

To rise in the challenge you didn’t want, you must condense years of knowledge, skills, and experience into compelling materials to attract a new employer. Then you must get your carefully crafted profiles in front of recruiters. The key to success for both steps involves standing out from all the other candidates competing for the role you want.

In a recent Ask the #CMWorld Community livestream, Work It Daily’s J.T. O’Donnell and TogetHER Digital’s Amy Vaughan shared what today’s recruiters want and the disruptive ways to get on their radar.

Take a disruptive approach to find your next #ContentMarketing job, says @JTODonnell and @CafeScribbler via @joderama @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

You can watch the conversation or scroll down to read the highlights of their productive chat.

Take time to grieve, but don’t wallow

The Holmes-Rahe Stress Scale puts job loss among the top 10 stressful life events. When headlines fill the news about massive tech and media company layoffs, corporate hiring freezes, AI replacing creators’ jobs, and a slowing economy, a job loss can feel downright paralyzing.

Ignoring those feelings won’t make them go away and might make it more challenging to focus on finding your next job.

That’s why J.T. recommends taking some time to grieve before you begin a job search. “It’s an unexpected loss. You need to feel it and go through the emotions,” she says.

But don’t get so lost in your misery that you miss a new role that might pop up. “In my experience, people often end up in a new position and say, ‘This turned out better than I expected. I would’ve never come across this opportunity if this change wasn’t forced upon me,’” J.T. says. “Know that a lot of other people have ended up on the better side of it and get ready to move forward.”

Update your job search tools – and how you use them

First, revisit your resume and LinkedIn profiles. You need to ensure they’re updated, consistent, and precisely targeted to the roles you’re considering.

If it’s been a while since you last looked for work, you may need to relearn the rules of a productive job search.

For example, while application tracking systems (ATS) have been around since the 1990s, their time-saving features have made recruiters more reliant on digital tools in recent years. In fact, a 2018 study found nearly 99% of Fortune 500 companies use them. Advanced functionality has improved the software’s ability to create more accurate candidate profiles and match them to applicants’ work history details.

Optimizing your resume with keywords in the job description is essential to getting your resume discovered by potential employers.

Optimize your resume with keywords in the job description to get your resume discovered through digital application systems (and employers), says @joderama via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

You also need to know formatting and information trends to make it past the digital gatekeepers. Your resume should be easily skimmable, results-focused, and tailored to the role in the application.

In a related discussion on CMI’s Slack channel, Headstart Copywriting’s Susan Varty shared a resume template that follows modern digital processes and trends.

The template structure, as shown in the image below, separates information into clear sections. She also details what to write in each section:

  • About: Here, you’ll introduce yourself, mention the role you’re interested in, and describe your qualifications in a relevant way.
  • Career highlights: These should be active statements that summarize the accomplishments you’re most proud of, so recruiters can skim the copy and understand who you are and what you can offer.
  • Work experience: Rather than list the roles you’ve played, use this section to describe how your work has helped previous employers achieve their business goals.

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J.T. also recommends updating your LinkedIn profile to ensure it aligns with what appears on your resume. “Recruiters pay attention to the resume and LinkedIn work history section. The information that appears there should be identical. Otherwise, they may be confused about which version is accurate,” she explains.

The information that appears on your resume should be identical to your work history section on @LinkedIn, says @JTODonnell via @joderama @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

Stand out with a disruptive job search approach

Amy says recruiters will read resumes – and cover letters – that make it to their desks, but they spend only a few seconds on each.

You can’t expect to compete based on skills alone. But demonstrating your personal motivation to do the job for that employer can give you an advantage, J.T. says.

Finding the best opportunities where you can convey that motivation requires a disruptive job search. The technique helps you discover a relevant connection between your passions and career intentions and communicate it to employers who stand to benefit.

The more intentional and storified approach should work well for content marketers because you’re well-equipped to follow it. It also circumvents the gatekeeping systems by giving you a more relatable connection to prospective employers.

Take a more intentional and storified approach in your #ContentMarketing job search, says @joderama via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

J.T. summarizes the disruptive job search process:

  • Pinpoint the work you’re most passionate about: Think carefully about the kinds of work you want to do, not just where you might want to do it. What lights you up? What do people come to you specifically for? This will be the centering principle for your candidate story.
  • Create a bucket list of company targets: Don’t just apply for any and every role that matches your skills and interests. Research companies to find 10 to 20 that would genuinely benefit from your unique perspectives and specialized focus.
  • Get clear on why you want to work for each company: Hearing that they’re a great place to work and offer great benefits isn’t enough to prove you understand the business and its goals. What is it about them that you’ve come to learn is different and special?
  • Make a personal connection: Think about what you can bring to the role at the company. Be specific about your knowledge of what they do, who their customers are, and how you can contribute to the business outcomes you know they want to achieve.
  • Craft the details into a cover letter: Once you’ve outlined your relevant connection points, you can put those details into a cover letter that speaks to your unique understanding of the business and the distinct value you can contribute. “When you can get that story into someone’s hands at an organization, you’ll be amazed at what can happen,” J.T. says.

(Net)work your story into a job

“People need to meet you and see continuity in what you say and do. That can’t always happen unless they get that chance to meet you in person,” Amy says.

Networking can feel one-sided and awkward when you’re under pressure to find a new role. But you can make it more productive with these tips from J.T. and Amy:

1. Turn on LinkedIn creator mode

J.T. points out that LinkedIn has pivoted itself into a creator tool. Use it to prove the points you would discuss in a cover letter and attract the right attention.

Activating creator mode on your profile tells LinkedIn’s algorithm to note (and share with others) the content you share. It also gives access to additional tools that can extend your reach.

Here’s how to turn creator mode on:

  • Click the Me icon in the nav bar at the top of your LinkedIn homepage.
  • Click View Profile.
  • Scroll down to the Resources section of your profile. If it shows “Creator mode: Off,” switch it to on.

Click Next on the Creator mode preview pop-up window.

  • Add up to 5 topics (hashtags) to indicate what you post about the most.
  • Click Done.

2. Create and share relevant content on your feed

Think about your specialization areas and speak about them regularly in your LinkedIn feed. Creating new content (or reposting your content on other platforms) on those subjects helps prove your expertise.

You can also curate and add commentary to third-party news, articles, videos, and other relevant stories. It shows you’re in touch with what’s happening in that space and have something of value to add to the conversation.

Be sure to post consistently – J.T. recommends at least once a day – to build an audience of followers.

3. Use hashtags responsibly

Using the right hashtags on your LinkedIn content can introduce your content to people who aren’t in your network. But, Amy points out, it can also help you tap into a hidden job market – roles that don’t get posted but have recruiters looking to fill them.

She explains recruiters may take this approach when they have a great opportunity that would attract a lot of candidate interest and don’t want to get bombarded with applicants.

4. Incorporate personal passions into your work persona

Attracting an audience with your thought leadership content can help you rank higher on LinkedIn searches and gain the attention of more recruiters. But since just about any job applicant can position themselves as an expert, Amy suggests taking an extra step to stand out from the pack: Cultivate a personality brand.

If you’re a regular CMI reader, you’re probably familiar with the reasons to build a personal brand (and if not, I’d highly recommend reading Ann Gynn’s definitive post on the topic). But, Amy says, a personality brand is a bit different.

As she explains, job searchers often struggle to associate their passions outside of work with the work they want to be known for. But creating stories that tie together those interests can make a person more memorable to recruiters and others who can help advance the job search.

Amy explains what this might look like: “[In my content], I talk a lot about groundedness, nature, and empathetic leadership. To me, those things are all tied together because I like to be very grounded in how I lead and very calm in how I approach difficult work situations. Or maybe you are an endurance athlete, and you can build a connection on how your love of endurance sports goes hand in hand with your strong work ethic.”

The content related to your personality brand can make your networking feel more organic. “If you’re reaching out to people in your network just to get a job, they’re going to sniff that out,” Amy says. But if they know you because you’ve shared a relatable story or something of value, they may be more willing to connect with you and help with your search.

Use your content marketing strengths to prove your value to employers

Losing a job never feels good. But with a more precise job search approach, stories that demonstrate your unique expertise, and ways to create a personal connection, your unemployment status won’t last long.

Want more help with your job search journey? Register to attend TogetHER Digital’s free virtual career fair for women in digital on Feb. 23, 2023. And for more-detailed job search help (including action plans, templates, and examples), J.T. O’Donnell is offering our readers an exclusive $20 discount on Work It Daily’s job search packages. Use code CM20 when you sign up.
Need more guidance to hone your content marketing skills? Enroll in CMI University and get 12-month on-demand access to an extensive curriculum designed to help you do your job more effectively.

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Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute



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