Friday, May 28, 2010

Promote Your Job Search at a Party

Friday May 28, 2010

If you're getting ready to relax and enjoy Memorial Day weekend, take a few minutes to plan ahead and, in addition to getting ready for a holiday weekend party, consider how you can integrate job search networking into your upcoming events.

It's fine to let people you meet at a party or another event know that you're job hunting, and you never know who you might meet who can help you with your job search.

Networking isn't as hard as you might think - it's just a matter of mentioning your job search at the appropriate time. Most people are happy to help, but they can't help if they don't know that you're actively seeking employment and in the market for a new job.

Original Article

Want to Land a Job in This Recession? Change Your Career Strategy

Career coach Marcia Grubel gave job seekers tips during a career strategizing workshop.


Having a hard time in this economy?

Career counselor and coach Marcia Grubel says these tough times aren't changing, so to survive first you must change yourself and your way of thinking.

"This workshop is less about technology and more about mindset. There is an old mindset and a new mindset," Grubel told attendees at Thursday night's "Career Strategizing for Challenging Times" workshop. The presentation was the last of Grubel's three events offered at the Rye Free Reading Room through the WEBS Career and Educational Counseling Service of the Westchester Library System.

According to Grubel, today's career path to success is no longer a progression supported by hard work but a cycle of challenges followed by endings and transitions leading to new beginnings.

"Employers are now not only interested in what you know but how you learn and how you've grown," she said.

Along with outlining actionable tactics like networking, research and planning, Grubel emphasized that shifting your thinking is equally important. "To be successful now you need a portfolio of skills and a resume to go," which she defines as selling your assets into the marketplace.

In a departure from many career workshops, the demographics of the audience varied, from young people seeking early career advice to those starting over on a new career path.

Katherine Valone of Rye, a college freshman at Susquehanna University in Pennsylvania, came to the workshop for advice that would help her stand out in a difficult marketplace. She is hoping the workshop will give her the tools to put her ideas and education together and figure out "how to shine."

A soon to be empty nester from Mt. Kisco, who'd stayed home for years raising her children, said the workshop was part of her commitment to do something once a week in support of her job search and desire to pursue a new career in special education. "This is my time," she said.

Most others were, as would be expected, unemployed and actively seeking new opportunities. Looking for ideas on reemployment pursuits one transitioning gentleman, who asked to remain anonymous, appreciated Grubel's perspective on the job environment.

"I like her emphasis on mindset," he said. "I like the leitmotif of changing your old mindset from a career being a cradle to a grave endeavor, to now having to continually re-invent yourself and become cognizant of your skills and competencies to create a brand."

Quoting from Thomas L. Freedman's "The World is Flat," Grubel emphasized that to compete in the new, global economy people have to "Connect, Compete, Collaborate and Innovate." Grubel said that for the older worker, this new way of thinking and being is not easy but it can be done.

Managing yourself comes down to "Confidence, Preparation, Repetition, Taking Small Steps and Learning to Fail Gracefully." "Confidence," she said, "is knowing you can handle what comes up and courage is feeling the fear and doing it anyway."

Original Article

Thursday, May 27, 2010

25 Sources To Help You Get Your LinkedIn Game On

I’m an avid and daily user of LinkedIn and I’m always seeking to learn more about how to use it effectively for building relationships, networking, job search, recruiting, personal branding and business development. I also enjoy sharing what I’ve learned with others and regularly speak to groups, associations and corporate clients about how to use LinkedIn. At those events, I typically provide attendees a LinkedIn Resource sheet to take home. I’m in the process of updating my Resources sheet for 2009, and I thought I’d share the links that were provided over the past year with you. So here you go:

Why You Should Use LinkedIn:

Creating Your LinkedIn Profile:

Building/Re-Enforcing Your Personal & On-Line Brand Using LinkedIn:

Ways to Use LinkedIn:

Using LinkedIn For Job Search:

How Do Recruiters Use LinkedIn?

General Resources:

I hope you find some of these resources to be helpful, and once I’ve update my list for 2009, I’ll share those links with you too. Feel free to add any resources you would suggest that I include in the Comments section below. The list can only be better with your help!

6 Ways to Leverage LinkedIn

The top six social media tips to know before you leave the office.

Last week, LinkedIn launched its new “follow” feature, which enables users to track a company from its profile page or the profile pages of its employees. This new functionality is a reminder that the professional social networking site is more than just a resource for job hunters. Now, LinkedIn’s 65 million members worldwide can monitor a company’s news, new hires, and special events, and marketers should take notice.

The network’s business focus makes it a prime platform for demonstrating thought leadership, networking with potential leads, drawing attention to products or services, and engaging internal audiences. Furthermore, recent updates and rollouts have made it necessary to monitor the conversations about corporate brands taking place on the site.

This week’s Six @ Six outlines six best practices every company should be implementing on this increasingly important social network platform. How is your company using LinkedIn to enhance its brand reputation and generate business leads? Let me know on Twitter @valerieelston.

1. Claim the Company Profile:

For some, this advice may seem exceedingly basic. Yet, a surprising number of businesses are not in control of their company’s profile on LinkedIn. Taking charge of the content available on LinkedIn is critical because the site ranks highly in search results and receives about 70 million visits a month. Additionally, it’s important that someone be assigned to manage the profile because any employee can edit the page. This will ensure content is correct and current. LinkedIn indicates the last person to have edited the profile so you will know if someone other than the profile manager has made changes. Be sure to brand your page with your company’s logo, add links to other online resources such as your company’s website, and choose to have your profile automatically populated with news items. These features will add depth to your profile and increase the content available for search engines to crawl and index.

2. Optimize the Profile:

Because the amount of information one can add to a company profile is governed by LinkedIn’s pre-defined fields, it’s important to make the most of the space available. Take time to rewrite your company description from an SEO perspective. What are the keywords that drive people to your company’s website? These words should be liberally utilized in your company’s LinkedIn profile. Your employees can also take steps to optimize their profiles, which will enhance their credibility as brand ambassadors while also strengthening the company’s SEO. For example, when entering website information on your profile, you can add a description by selecting “other” from the drop down menu. This enables you to add keywords that will help search engines direct searchers to your links.

3. Empower Internal Brand Ambassadors:

The power of employee brand ambassadors cannot be underestimated. Employees are your brand’s first line of defense on LinkedIn and encouraging them to participate helps disseminate positive information about your company. Many of your employees may already be taking part in group discussions or using the Answers feature. Of course, these communications should be subject to internal checks before posting and all employees should be provided with best practices and instructions so they can most effectively leverage their personal profiles.

4. Take Advantage of Groups:

Whether you want to create and manage a group or simply take part in an ongoing discussion, LinkedIn groups offer an easy way to network with industry peers around the world. Recommend that your employees join groups for your industry’s professional associations, local networks, or those devoted to interests in their field. Groups offer two key benefits. First, they provide opportunities for thought leadership where employees can post to discussions based on their own expertise. And second, they enable employees to share positive information about your brand from news articles, company blog posts, and other online sources.

5. Integrate Your Networks:

LinkedIn can potentially be a top driver of Web traffic when properly integrated. As your company likely does with Twitter and Facebook, prominently display a LinkedIn icon throughout your website. With the addition of the new “follow” feature, users can start following your company through your profile page, so encouraging them to click through to the site will increase the number of people who decide to join your network. Make sure you highlight LinkedIn on each social networking site your company engages as well – be it Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

6. Consider Direct Ads:

As was mentioned in Six @ Six a few weeks ago, LinkedIn’s Direct Ad capabilities enable advertisers to target audiences by criteria such as company size, job function, industry, position, and geography. The value of targeting your ads based on these criteria is immense and companies should also consider purchasing direct ads to enhance and protect brand reputation. LinkedIn ads can be connected to your company’s profile, therefore increasing your legitimacy and creating an additional opportunity for users to find out more about your company, products, services, and employees.

How to Social Network Your Way into a Job


Networking is a crucial component of any job search. And today's social-networking technology makes it easier than ever to network your way into the job of your dreams.

Many companies are employing social media as a means to market their products. And just as they are relying on blogs, wikis, forums, and social networking to pitch their news, they are starting look at how job seekers pitch themselves via these channels. (To learn more about how companies are taking advantage of social media, download "12 Essential Tips for Success in Social Media" for free here.)

Use these tips to ping, tweet, poke, and post your way into your dream job or a new career.

1. Get LinkedIn to various networks.

A good rule of thumb for job searching is to make yourself visible and available. Traditionally, that means posting your resume on sites like Yahoo! HotJobs and making sure your friends and family know you're looking. But today, it's more than that. You need to become visible across the web.

Establish your web presence in various avenues, so employers can find you. Create profiles on multiple social networking sites and even consider starting a blog about your trade.

According to Paul Gillin, a social media marketing consultant and the author of "Secrets of Social Media Marketing," LinkedIn and Twitter are the two outlets you want to be sure to use as a job seeker.

LinkedIn is the place to start, according to Gillin. "The reason for that is that LinkedIn is very targeted and very focused" he says. "It's got all the tools and it's got this unique, degrees-of-separation concept where you can find people by being introduced by a common link." Finding common connections through the LinkedIn tools is a great place to start networking for a new career.

Secondly, Gillin gives high praise to Twitter as a job seeker's tool. "I recommend Twitter because it may be the fastest way to get in touch with someone you want to reach," Gillin says. "Anyone on Twitter can get a message to anyone else who is on Twitter."

Gillin notes that finding an email address for a contact within a company can be a challenge. But locating someone on Twitter and sending him or her a quick note is relatively simple. And emails to potential employers tend to be formal and somewhat wordy--these long-form emails are often ignored. But, Gillin says, "because Twitter is so brief, people tend to respond quickly on Twitter."

2. Clean up your social-networking presence.

Having a social-networking presence can be a great way to land your dream job. But it can also be a liability. Make sure your online appearance projects the image you want to share with potential employers.

HR professionals and recruiters have gotten very good at finding ways around privacy limitations when investigating job candidates. Even if you think you have a private profile, use caution.

"If you're going to share photos of yourself face down in a puddle of beer, you should choose to do that under a pseudonym," recommends Gillin. "Think of how you want to appear to the outside world."

Your online personality is as important as your resume. Just as you would proofread a cover letter or resume before sending it, edit your Facebook profile, tweets, and blog posts with the same detail.

"Spell checker is not sufficient for that task," Gillin says. "Before you publish anything online, have someone who knows the language read your website."

And monitor your behavior online as well--that is, "avoid loose-cannon behavior," Gillin says. Posting overtly nasty or vindictive comments, incorrect facts, or anything that doesn't appear polished can hurt your chances.

3. Have a distinct message about yourself.

Searching for a job is a marketing task--you are marketing yourself to a specific audience. And as with any good marketing plan, you need to develop the message that you want to get across. Define the message, and then figure out how to get that message heard. Find information that backs up the claims you make about yourself.

"It could be your words, pictures of the work that you do, or evidence of your achievements," Gillin says. "Then you promote those. You use the various social-media tools to push that out."

It's important to show employers what you've done. Post it on your Facebook page, tweet about it, etc.

4. Be honest.

"12 Essential Tips for Success in Social Media," a marketing brief focused on how to effectively engage through social marketing, urges social networking participants to be honest.

"One characteristic of social media is that people are more aggressive about reading between the lines to interpret other people's intentions. And they're remarkably savvy about it. ... If someone suspects you're in some way misrepresenting yourself, they'll use any of the tools available to investigate your past postings across the blogosphere to sniff out what you're really up to. It happens all the time, and it severely undercuts the credibility of anyone exposed as a shill. Whether you're launching your own social media site or just participating in discussions around the Web, be conspicuously honest and straightforward about who you are and whom you represent."

Creating a Facebook profile about your accomplishments is a great tool, but only if you have actually achieved the success you post about. Present yourself to the Web professionally, thoughtfully, and honestly.

5. Participate in the conversation.

Your personal web presence is incredibly important, but don't forget that your potential employer likely has its own presence as well.

According to "12 Essential Tips," the key to building influence in your community is getting involved: "You need to participate in the conversation. If you've already identified the people influencing market dialog, comment on their blogs. Write posts that track back to their blog if they allow that. Write posts that engage or challenge them on a topic that matters. Go forth and get in the conversation; don't wait for it to come to you. To be successful, you need to continually engage and develop relationships through dialog with the influencers."

Find blogs and forums within your industry and become a participant. It's possible that your future boss operates or participates alongside you. Your thoughtful comments within popular industry spaces online will bolster your credibility and improve your chances of landing your dream job.

Original hotjobs Article

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Twitter Yourself a Job

By JONNELLE MARTE

Looking for a new job, Alexa Scordato didn't email or call her contacts about possible openings. Instead, she messaged them via the social-networking Web site Twitter.com.

Her brief message: "Hey there! Looking for a Social Media job up in Boston. Are you guys doing any entry level hires?"

Within a week, she had an interview. Within two weeks, she had a job.

The site, which lets users publish supershort updates of what they're doing, is a virtual meeting ground where a range of communities -- from moms to media professionals -- come to converse informally.

It's been criticized as a site for sharing mundane details about everyday activities. But people like 22-year-old Ms. Scordato, who used Twitter to privately message some people she'd met at a conference, show the site can be more than that.

"I would guess that if I had just sent them a long email with my résumé, I might not have gotten a response as fast as I did," says Ms. Scordato, who was hired by Mzinga, a Boston-area company that helps businesses use social technology.
The Basics

Users, known as Twitterers, post short updates that appear in their online profiles. They can choose to follow each other's updates, called tweets, and respond either publicly through posts or privately via direct message. All entries must be 140 characters or less.

Twitter doesn't release user numbers, but most public estimates put the user base at around four million to five million, with about 30% or more being very new or limited users.

To get started, build a profile that shows your interests and start Twittering. Because you have no more than 140 characters to describe yourself in your bio, use key words that reveal your goals. Make more information accessible by linking to your Web site, blog or profile on a professional networking site like LinkedIn.

Amy Ziari, a 24-year-old looking for a public-relations job in San Francisco, links to her blog on her Twitter profile and lists her Twitter alias on her résumé to show recruiters she is "not a faceless résumé -- there's somebody behind it."

You'll find major companies and recruiters on the site, and should follow the big names in your industry.

Most users get emails alerting them about new followers, and may choose to follow you as well if your biography and tweets get their attention.

Initiate conversations with other users by responding to their tweets. You can share updates you find useful by reposting them on your profile.
Stay Focused

Never twitter about anything you wouldn't want your boss or mother to see, and tell your friends to keep their tweets to you appropriate.

Be careful about publicizing your job hunt on Twitter if you don't want your boss reading about it. But if you're unemployed, sending an occasional tweet that explains the kind of job you're looking for could yield responses from recruiters. You can also seek jobs being promoted on the site by searching for phrases like "job opening."

Twittering about your personal life is fine, to an extent -- it's something most Twitterers do. But keep it to a minimum.

"I would rather see someone who posts good-quality information than what they had for lunch," said Lindsay Olson, who uses Twitter to recruit for Paradigm Staffing, a staffing agency that focuses on public relations and marketing.

Email: jonnelle.marte@wsj.com

Jobvite Recruiting Tool Taps Social Networks

Recruiting-technology firm Jobvite Wednesday unveiled Jobvite Share, a free tool that uses the power of social networking to distribute and target job openings to increase referrals and track in real-time the value of job placement ads.

Using Jobvite Share, a company executive or human resources manager looking to fill a position enters a job URL and Jobvite creates a custom, trackable listing for the position, regardless of where it is distributed on the Internet. The job listing -- dubbed the Jobvite -- can automatically be sent to specific contacts within Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, email or elsewhere on the Web, and tracked using real-time metrics.

“As we continue to see signs of an economic recovery, companies -- still strapped for resources -- can now recruit the best, closest fit, talent on the open social web for free using Jobvite Share,“ said Dan Finnigan, president and CEO of Jobvite.

Prospective employers can share short Jobvite links through emails or via one or several social networking sites, blogs and job boards. The software uses an algorithm determine those potential candidates that best-meet the job qualifications. Recipients can pass along these messages to their connections, further expanding the prospective pool of candidates, according to Jobvite.

Since Jobvite Share includes up to five trackable links, the employer can determine which sites are most effective for marketing and distributing job leads. These metrics monitor views, clicks, forwards, and clicks to apply, and track individual channels such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and e-mail. They also follow referrals as they spread across users' individual networks.

Social networking sites continue to play a big role in uniting employers and prospective hires. TwitJobSearch.com, a job search engine for Twitter, posted 586,836 new jobs in the last 30 days and 694 new jobs between about 10 and 11 EDT today, according to the site.

Original Article

Maybe something that's NOT a job ...

Brendan Tripp

Some days I think that maybe looking for "a job" isn't all it's cracked up to be ... maybe I don't want "a job" ... but I want to keep the house, educate the kids, pay the bills, etc., what else is there? Well, this very popular book by Timothy Ferriss, The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich, is the book for those moods.

Based on his own very extraordinary experiences, Ferriss has crafted a "system" which purports to let its users achieve a "4-hour workweek", which provides periodic "retirements" in the course of one's productive life. I'd seen this title cropping up a numerous contexts and reading lists, and figured that I should give it a read. While it ended up being something that was not particularly connecting with me, I could see this being very enticing to many others in somewhat different life situations. My conflicted reactions to this have produced what's probably my longest review ever, as the over-all goal of Ferriss' book is certainly something I'd like to achieve, and much of that verbiage was spent on trying to understand why I wasn't "getting it"!

I was also very fortunate to have been able to get an interview with Mr. Ferriss. He is pretty clear in the book that he's hard to get a hold of by design, but I guess I just hit the right e-mail box with the right request at the right time (even though he was deeply enmeshed in writing his new book, in the midst of some unscheduled travel!) and we were able to get the following done with a phone call and a couple of emails:


Q: Given all the amazing things included in your bio in the book, can you briefly summarize your background?

A: As you note, it's a lot more involved than a standard resume; but career-wise, back in 2000 I was in storage area networking, providing storage systems to companies in silicon valley. While there I independently developed a sports nutrition business, and by 2005 began formulating what was to become The 4-Hour Workweek, which was published in 2007. I sold the nutrition business in 2009, and have been doing consulting, speaking, and working as an angel investor in projects that I find interesting since.


Q: Have you had notable job-transition experiences?

A: Well, the data storage job was as an employee at a tech start-up, with 7am-9pm hours. My transition out of that and into my own company was gradual, as was figuring out how to totally automate that business and free me up from most management functions. This allowed me to travel, and do projects like lecturing at Princeton a couple of times a year. The seed of the book came from this, as I was teaching a class over the phone from Argentina, and some of the students suggested that I just go ahead a write a book about it.


Q: Why did you decide to write a book about such radical lifestyle change?

A: Honestly, I had no idea how this would take off. I had initially prepared the book proposal as an exercise to organize my thoughts about how to best achieve my lifestyle goals. I sent it to Chicken Soup for the Soul author Jack Canfield who put me in touch with my agent, who shopped it around to 27 publishers before Crown picked it up.


Q: How can those folks "between jobs and looking" best use this system (aside from the very tempting story of the fellow who outsourced his job search to virtual assistants in India)?

A: The mind-set shift is important, most people look for work, find work, and their lifestyle is a side-effect of that. What I'm saying is that we should start with the lifestyle image and work backwards to work. A good example of a job seeker thinking "outside the box" would be the recent story of a guy who got a job through Google ads, exhibiting his skills to the audience of targeted executives ... the way you search for a job should reflect your ability to do that job.


Q: If you had just ONE piece of advice for today's job searcher, what would that be?

A: Focus on defining your longer-term lifestyle objectives and the costs of achieving those goals. Figure out the monthly costs involved (which are likely to be far less that you might suspect), and then shape your job to fit those needs. Rather than "looking for a job", design the lifestyle and then find the means to support that. For some example case studies, search for "cold remedy" on the blog and you'll find videos submitted by readers who have put the book into practice.


Q: What do you feel makes your book unique?

A: It's a pretty unique approach in and of itself ... it's very practical, with low-risk approaches to uncommon living.


Q: Aside from your book, what resources do you recommend?

A: I'd recommend checking out another couple of books: "The Magic of Thinking Big" by David J. Schwartz, and "Vagabonding" by Rolf Potts. My blog, which somehow became one of the top-1000 blogs in the world, also has a ton of case studies and how-to information and experiments. All of it's free.


Again, I am very grateful to Mr. Ferriss for making the effort to allow this interview to happen, and judging from the popularity of the book (it is currently #118 out of Amazon's over-all book rankings), "it must be me" in my various issues taken with The 4-Hour Workweek. It's a book filled with hundreds of resources, much good advice, assorted tools and tips, and is a very enjoyable read available for a very reasonable price, so is a recommended read for job seeker, if just to see a different possible life path!


Original Article

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Tips for improving your LinkedIn SEO

Stop Being Creative in Your Job Search

Can you afford to be average? I mean that literally: Do you have 8 months of savings in the bank to sustain an average job search? If not, you need to go beyond the average and start doing new things. You need to start innovating.

“Creativity is thinking up new things. Innovation is doing new things.”

That’s according to economist and Harvard professor, Theodore Levitt.
And that’s absolutely correct.
Especially in job hunting, where too many people think too much and do too little.
Want proof?
According to surveys cited by David Wessel in The Wall Street Journal, “The unemployed in the United States spend 40 minutes a day looking for work and 3 hours and 20 minutes a day watching TV.”
This may explain why the average job search in America now lasts 33 weeks, according to US Bureau of Labor Statistics data from April 2010.
Thirty-three weeks -- more than 8 months -- is the longest it has taken Americans to find work in the history of this monthly survey, which dates to 1948.
Obviously, if it takes 8 months for the average person to find a job, something is seriously wrong with what average people are doing (or not doing) to look for work.
Can you afford to be average? I mean that literally: Do you have 8 months of savings in the bank to sustain an average job search?
If not, you need to go beyond the average and start doing new things. You need to start innovating.
While there’s no recipe for innovation that works for every job seeker, here’s helpful advice from author and radio show host Mel Robbins: “Innovation is about very small tweaks. It’s about taking a step to the right or left; it’s about experimenting.”
With that in mind, here is a three-step process to produce new ideas in your job search -- and act on them, because action is the key ingredient in innovation.
1) Think: Write down everything you have done that has produced at least one interview. (If your answer is Nothing, call people until you find one tactic that led to a job interview in the last 90 days.)
Do: Use that tactic on three employers today. Track your results, tweak your actions (if necessary) and try again on three new employers in 48 hours.
2) Think: Write down everything you have done that has produced no job interviews.
Do: Tweak or stop doing those things, today.
Hint: One fruitless tactic you’re likely using is to email your resume in response to advertised job openings.
If that hasn’t worked, tweak it one way -- mail, fax, or hand-deliver your resume for advertised job openings.
Or tweak it another way -- email your resume to employers who are not advertising openings; just be sure to send it to someone on the inside who can forward your resume to a hiring manager.
Which leads to …
3) Think: Write down every possible way to meet with someone at your target employers. Why? Because “meeting people” is the opposite of “emailing resumes,” which probably isn’t working, remember?
Two quick examples of how to meet people:
a) Ask the folks in your network for a connection to an employee, vendor, or customer of your target employer.
b) Dress up, get in the car, and drop your resume off with the receptionist. Say, “I’ve had trouble with email all week and wanted to make sure you guys got this.” Ask for his/her name. Then call the hiring manager and say, “I spoke with Cindy in your office yesterday. Did she hand you my resume?” Congratulations. You are now speaking with a hiring manager -- the goal of your job-search efforts.
Do: Find a way to meet someone at your target employer this week. Today, if possible.
Note: You should write down your answers to those three “Think” steps. If you’re not writing, you’re not thinking at full power, because writing on paper -- with a pen -- instantly clarifies and improves your thoughts. Try it now.
How likely are you to do any of this? Not very, if you’re average. That’s why average is easy -- you don’t have to do anything new. Mediocrity is comfortable … like sitting on the couch watching CNN.
But. If you want to stop being average and start getting more job interviews, stop trying to be “creative” -- which is often no more than glorified daydreaming -- and start innovating -- which is doing new things.
Creativity only sets the stage. Innovation gets things done.
Kevin Donlin is contributing co-author of “Guerrilla Marketing for Job Hunters 2.0.” Since 1996, he has provided job-search help to more than 20,000 people. For a free Guerrilla Job Search audio CD, visit www.MyNewJobHunt.com

13 Essential Tips for Landing a Job on LinkedIn

Lewis Howes is a former professional athlete, world record holder in football, and author of the LinkedIn book, LinkedWorking. He is the founder of the Sports Executives Association, and the popular sports and social media blog SportsNetworker.com.

LinkedIn (LinkedIn) is one of the best places online to find a job, period. It’s also a great place to connect with top decision makers, generate targeted leads for your business, drive traffic to your website, and more.

I hear countless stories every week from people who land amazing full time positions at great companies thanks to engagement on LinkedIn. Although there are a number of approaches you can take when hunting for the right job, start with these 13 important tips for using LinkedIn effectively.


1. Complete Your Profile 100%


If someone is thinking about hiring you for a position, he or she is going run a Google (Google) search for your first and last name. For many, a LinkedIn profile will rank in the top five results. This gives you a certain level of control in showcasing your best talents with your profile. Make sure your profile is 100% complete, and position yourself as an expert in your niche.

A profile that is only 55% complete, without recommendations and an updated work history may not make a solid first impression when people find you through search.


2. Add a Compelling Headline


Your headline is the first thing potential employers and hiring managers will see after your name. First impressions are an important aspect of the interview process, and this holds true for your LinkedIn profile as well.

Be clear and to the point with your headline. Try to tell people who you are, what you do, and how you can help them in as few words as possible. This simple step will help you stand out from many other LinkedIn profiles.


3. Add All Past and Current Work Positions


It’s important to include where you have worked in the past and where you are currently working. Obviously, the more work experience you can list, the better. You never know which position will earn you the respect of the hiring manager and give you the edge you need to land the job.

There’s always a chance the hiring manager has worked at one of your previous companies, or has hired other professionals from that company. Situations like this may help you get the job security you are seeking.


4. Give and Receive Recommendations


On your traditional resume, you are supposed to have a limited amount of recommendations. However, on your LinkedIn profile, the more people who can vouch for you, the better.

If you only have two recommendations on LinkedIn, most people won’t take your profile seriously. It’s unfortunate, because there are a number of qualified and experienced professionals who aren’t active on the network. This can hurt their reputation. Remember, in the online world, perception is reality. If people believe that no one will recommend you because there are no visible signs of approval displayed on your profile, why would they want to hire you?

The best way to receive recommendations is to give them first. The more you give on LinkedIn, the more you will receive. Take some time to write a few recommendations for those you know, like, and trust, and a majority of them will write you one in return.


5. Connect With Everyone


LinkedIn Puzzle ImageThere are some on LinkedIn who believe you should only connect with a small percentage of professionals you know and trust. Others say (including myself) you should connect with everyone, even if you vaguely know them.

When looking for a job, you never know who will be able to recommend you, or who is looking for someone to fill a position where you would be a perfect fit.

When connecting with others, make sure you always send a personalized message. This doesn’t have to be an essay, but make sure you mention why you are connecting or how you know one another. Also ask if there is anything you can do to assist them. By offering your services to help, this breaks down any initial barriers and gives others another reason why they should hire you.


6. Be Concise in Your Message


When you communicate through your LinkedIn profile, structure it in a way that will help people clearly understand you and what you are after. There are three main components:

Provide a preview so people know what comes next

  • In your headline give them the intro to who you are and what you are all about.

Give them the facts

  • Let people know who you are by injecting your personality into your work experiences, your summary, your specialties, and in how you help people.

Summarize and reinforce your message

  • Finish up strong by adding in your honors, awards, personal websites and case studies. Provide a call to action on how to connect with you and ways to follow up if they want to learn more.

7. Stay Active


I believe half the battle of finding a job is simply letting others know you are alive. There are so many resumes being submitted to open positions that it can be tough to break through sometimes. Luckily, LinkedIn works in your favor if you are active and constantly engage within the community.

Each time you take action on LinkedIn, it shows up on the home page of everyone you are connected to. The more people see your picture, read you name, and check out the compelling content you are delivering, the more likely they are to think of you when a position opens up. Stay active, and the opportunities will be much more abundant than if you don’t participate at all.


8. Join Niche Groups


Groups are a great way to find a position because they have built-in job boards with new jobs being added on a regular basis. Some groups have tens of thousands of decision makers within them. As a member, you are able to send a message to almost every person without having to upgrade to a premium account. LinkedIn also has a great advanced search function, and once you find who you want to connect with, you can often message them directly through mutual groups without actually needing to be connected.


9. Create a Group


Being a group owner has many advantages. It allows you to send messages once per week to all the members, and you are perceived more as a decision maker and thought leader. Start attracting potential employers as opposed to seeking them out all of the time.


10. Add Your Honors and Awards


Including honors and awards is just another way to increase your value to potential hiring managers. Employers want to hire winners, and those who know how to excel. Be sure to show them what you are made of, and post everything relevant to your success in your past work history.


11. Answer Questions


This is a great way for job seekers to showcase their talents and expertise and stand out from the crowd. It’s also valuable to entrepreneurs and business owners for gathering leads.

Add the ‘Answers’ widget on the right-hand side of your LinkedIn home page with the industry topic you know the most about. When you see a question pop up that you can answer, make sure you give your two cents and provide as much information and value in your answers as possible. The more you give to and serve others, the more job opportunities will come your way.


12. Import Your Blog and Twitter Feeds


LinkedIn Twitter Image

There are a number of ways to beef up your LinkedIn profile and make its content more compelling. Adding your blog and Twitter () account is a good first step.

Simply connect with your Twitter profile and check the box to make sure your tweets are syndicated to LinkedIn. This will save time and make it look like you are more active on LinkedIn as well.

Adding your blog to your LinkedIn profile is a no-brainer. This not only drives organic traffic back to your site, but showcases your regular activities and expertise.


13. Connect Others


I’m a big fan of connecting people. Whenever I see someone with a certain career need, I try to think of the right people I can introduce them to. I want to create a mutually beneficial gain for each party.

The more I do this, the more career opportunities come my way. When you help two people without asking for anything in return, you leave a lasting impression on all involved. This will help amplify your own job prospects, as people will be more likely to help you achieve your goals in the future.


Conclusion


Don’t get discouraged if you don’t immediately see results. Effectively building your LinkedIn presence and online network won’t happen overnight. Remember these tips, and start to actively engage. Take action, be consistent, and you’ll soon be exploring a wealth of new professional networking opportunities.

Original Mashable Article

Are you hurting your business relationships by syncing Twitter and LinkedIn?

Quick Update: Chris Brogan just posted his tips on using LinkedIn effectively. Sheds light on best practices he follows, some of which I’ve outlined below. Read more on Chris’ blog. And, here’s another on how to use LinkedIn status updates. Priceless.

I noticed my good friend, Chris Brogan, seems to have come down with a case of Twitter overkill, on LinkedIn. Let me explain. Recently, we started letting our users sync up their LinkedIn and Twitter accounts. That lets you stream your status updates from LinkedIn to Twitter and vice-versa. You do have the option to selectively update your LinkedIn account with only those tweets tagged #in or you could let the whole fire-hose of your twitter imagination run riot on LinkedIn.


Would you take your vacation pictures and paste it in your cubicle. No, you wouldn’t. So, why does it seem ok to let in your entire twitter stream directly to LinkedIn. That said, I’m sure you’d love to show off a picture of you standing next to a business celebrity you may have stumbled upon and paparazzi’d while on vacation. The problem with these auto twitter streams is that folks like Chris start seeing a relentless twitter stream when they log into their LI homepage.

Of course, this is dependent on the # of friends you’re connected to on LinkedIn, as well as how twitter friendly they are. In Chris’ case, since he’s both a best selling author and marketing expert he probably has a ton of connection invites (most of which he accepts – more on that later) who also have a lot to say on Twitter. Unfortunately, some of them chose to stream all that Twitter to their LinkedIn accounts.

Chris Brogan's LinkedIn page with Tweets

So, here are three quick tips for those of you who are interested in nurturing your business relationships on LinkedIn via network updates but would like to avoid annoying your business connections with a meaningless interfering Twitter stream:

1. Control the flow of tweets in your stream:

As Chris recommends, go to your LinkedIn-Twitter sync Accounts and Settings and turn down the Twitter faucet. Secondly, make sure the tweets you bring in to your professional LinkedIn ecosystem are hashtagged #in and have a business context.

For e.g.
or

vs. the random LOST tweet that popped in to my LinkedIn stream today.

2. Hide the noisy twitterers in your stream:

Secondly, increase the quality of your connections (keeping it business) and spring clean your LinkedIn accounts every once in a while. Many times when I see persistent, random tweets come in from people I don’t very well recognize I use that as an opportunity to weed out the connections that may have sprung up inconsequentially.

When you see someone spam you with their tweets, all you’ve to do is mouseover the right of each status update, which will pop up the HIDE button. Click on that and you won’t receive updates from that user no more. You can also do this on your Facebook feed, if you’ve a noisy friend, for e.g.

For a more granular control of the updates you see on the homepage, click through to this Update Settings page where you can then tweak updates by either connections or Type.


Let’s not forget, LinkedIn is a business focused networking site, so letting in all your tweets – all personal and business – will have the exact opposite effect you were hoping to achieve by using the site. And, by that, I mean it’d end up hurting the same business relationships you were hoping to nurture.

Plus, be thoughtful while you send out those LinkedIn connection invites. My rule of thumb is to invite folks I’ve met a few times, talked to and who can recognize my personalized invite right away. What is yours?

3. Time your status updates for maximum effect:

Now that you’re no longer that noisy neighbor everyone’s calling the cops on. Learn how to use your LinkedIn-Twitter sync to maximum effect for your business. Time your relevant, most impressive tweets or status updates for maximum effect. By that I mean scheduled updates at the most effective timings. Here are some tips on what’s the best time to tweet. There are a slew of services that allow you to tweet information to select services. Three that come to mind – Tweetdeck, Hootsuite, and Seesmic – all of which allow scheduling your tweets.

Tweetdeck’s new update in particular has me wowed since it allows me to not only shorten and track the effectiveness of links through my bit.ly account, but it also let’s me schedule tweets across LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.

One last tip: If you’re a small business owner or the social media manager who runs your company’s official Twitter account (like I do here), I’d recommend tying that to your Twitter account. If your company does not have a Twitter account but you’d still like to share the latest happening at your company with your LinkedIn network, then consider adding your company’s blog to LinkedIn. More on that here.

These tips are just the beginning. I’ll continue to blog on ways you can use social media effectively at work and for your business, right here on this blog. Please consider subscribing to my blog or following me on Twitter.

Original Article

Monday, May 24, 2010

Our First Twitter Job Search Experiment Tweet


NOTE: This post is referring to our ongoing Twitter Job Search Experiment… Learn about it here.)

This morning, I posted our first tweet. It was as follows:

Looking 4 a secretary/admin/asst office job. Location: anywhere! She just divorced & is looking 2 start fresh somewhere new @mydetroitdining

Tonight, I got in touch with @mydetroitdining to see how it went. Below is a partial transcript of our email conversation:

I logged in at lunch and there were already 6-7 messages. (…)

By the end of the day I had a bit over a dozen. Some of them were just words of encouragement, but literally all of them were valuable. Several people gave me advice as to which job market might be the best to move to. (…)

I’d say about half were solid job leads. These were job openings I wasn’t aware of, and probably never would have run across. The person I’ve selected as “the best” message literally gave me the tip to something that I would consider a dream job.

She was impressed. And I am too, frankly. We have over 200 followers, so to get a dozen messages out of that is not bad.

But imagine if we had 400? Or 4000? I dream of someone logging on at lunch with 50 messages full of job leads.

We can only do that if we get more followers. So, again, I implore you to get the word out. Tweet, retweet, and Facebook!

(If anyone knows any bloggers that might help us out with a friendly post, drop me a direct message)

Original Article

20 Simple Twitter Tips for Your Job Search

Whether you're starting your career or looking for a change, if you're on a job search, you may have heard that Twitter is a great resource. You've heard right. Twitter offers a great way to ramp up your job search, and we've highlighted 20 great tips that can help make it work for you.
  1. Use your real name: You use your real name when searching for a job, so make sure you do the same on Twitter. Set up your first and last name in your profile, and if you can, use your name as your Twitter username.
  2. Tweet before you follow: Be sure to share useful content before you start following friends, colleagues, and industry professionals. This way, you'll give people a reason to follow you back.
  3. Search for opportunities: Don't just expect an opportunity to fall into your lap — seek it out! Use Twitter's search to look for jobs in your niche.
  4. Use a Hire Me! ribbon: Put a ribbon that advertises your desire for work, so even when you're not tweeting about your job search, followers know that you're looking.
  5. Keep a web copy of your resume online: If you get in contact with someone who would like to see your resume, it's handy to have one that you can just send in a tweet. A tool like VisualCV comes in handy.
  6. Follow your target companies: If the company or companies you'd really like to work for are on Twitter, follow them, and any employees that are on as well. You'll be able to connect better than before and stand out among candidates.
  7. Share on multiple networks: Integrate Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn so that contacts on all networks hear your message. If you can, use tools that can push updates from one service to another.
  8. Follow industry leaders: Follow the leaders in your industry to learn more about it and benefit from their network.
  9. Toot your own horn: Put yourself in the Twitter stream by describing your specific skill set. Be descriptive — if your specialty is selling phone systems to food service companies in South Florida, say so!
  10. Use hashtags: Find hashtags for upcoming conferences in your industry, hot topics, and more to become part of the conversation as well as identify people that you need to be following on Twitter.
  11. Look for a job posting account: If there's a certain company or industry you'd like to work in, try to find specific Twitter accounts that offer updates on new job postings available.
  12. Ask for help to close the deal: If friends or contacts work where you'd like to get a job, ask them for a recommendation to increase your likelihood of getting hired.
  13. Give good karma: Don't blatantly self-promote. Take some time to retweet and interact with others.
  14. Make your presence employer friendly: Use your bio as a job pitch, use a professional-looking avatar, and tweet about your job search. You can even link to your online resume.
  15. Be worth following: Don't be rude or boring — share interesting and useful updates with your followers, and focus on interacting with them as well.
  16. Always keep SEO in mind: Your Twitter profile and tweets are indexed by Google and other search engines, so any time you put information out there, think about how you can better make it found.
  17. Retweet industry news: Pass on news and tweets that are important, and you're one step closer to being found.
  18. Have a "Twitter pitch" ready: Much like the elevator speech, you need to be ready with a pitch you can deliver in 140 characters or less.
  19. Don't tweet about unemployment: You don't want to come off as whiny-keep your complaints about unemployment to yourself.
  20. Look for job search advice: Find posts from career gurus and other people who can help you find a job on Twitter

The Shy Job Seeker Can introverts succeed in this job market?

When I teach or present workshops about networking, interviewing, and other aspects of the job search, I can almost always count on at least one person approaching me privately at the end saying, "But I'm shy and these things make me uncomfortable. Isn't there something else I could do to find a job?"

Whether you label it social anxiety, introversion, shyness, or whatever, the bottom line is usually the same: you're uncomfortable in certain social settings, particularly those involving a feeling of being on stage or performing in some way. For the purposes of this post, I'm not going to make a distinction between being "introverted" and "shy" since both traits face challenges in the job market. But if you'd like to read more about the distinction between introversion and shyness, this Atlantic article explains introversion quite well.

Introverts are a minority. Statistics vary, but about 25% of the population are considered introverts. There is no one introvert "type"-- introverts vary in style and intensity. Introverts often feel alone in their desire to be alone-- that's an unfortunate consequence of social dominance of extraversion in the American culture. (Here's a great article about introverted travelers.) For some reason, introversion is often accompanied by shame.

I teach career coaching seminars across the country for NACE, and I love doing them. I always have a great audience of interesting people and we feed off each other's energy. But I am an introvert, and at the end of the day, I'm exhausted, and I want nothing more than to go to my hotel room, get room service, and watch TV. I mentioned this to the group one time-- that I didn't want them to think I was being rude if I turned down a dinner invitation-- I just needed to re-charge my brain for the next day. When I showed up the next morning, two participants approached me and asked to shake my hand. They wanted to thank me for giving them "permission" to go back to their rooms and not feel guilty about it. They noticed that I didn't apologize or put a label on my behavior-- it was just me. And they both described the "luxury" of an evening alone in their hotel room with just the TV and a good dinner. Isn't it interesting that people feel they need permission to be themselves?

The job search process can be stacked in the favor of the extraverted, natural hand-shaker-- the eager "Hi, how are you!" kind of person. Their natural friendliness, comfort with social interactions, and ease of making connections seem to virtually guarantee them the best jobs. There's no doubt that extraverted traits can be invaluable.

A particularly valuable aspect of extraverts is that they tend to "think out loud." If you go to a museum with an extravert, for example, s/he will likely talk all the time. "Look at this- isn't this interesting?" they will say. An introvert, on the other hand, may go quietly through the museum saying little-- often causing their extraverted companion to think that the introvert isn't having a good time. On the contrary, they are absorbing the external stimulus and don't necessarily need the additional verbal discussions-- in fact, talking likely distracts them from their focus on the museum.

Why is this important? In a job interview it is up to you to convey information to the employer. You need to "think out loud"-- that is, you need to tell the employer what they want and need to hear. Reticence, one-word answers, long pauses and silence will likely hurt your chances. Employers want to hear and see enthusiasm, and that can be hard for an introvert to convey.

So does it seem like the job search might be stacked against the introvert? It doesn't have to be.

Here's a secret: social skills can be taught. They may never feel 100% natural to the introvert, but they can be taught and executed successfully. You can learn better responses to interview questions, you can practice networking, and you can put on a front as needed. In fact, many introverts have already learned to do this in a variety of social settings. I liken it to left-handed people (another minority) who have learned to use objects with their right hands even if it's not their preference.

For some creative introverts it helps to think of the job interview as an acting job, or to quote Adler, just "act as if." Introverts are often astute observers of human behavior, so knowing how to "play the game" can help. This does not mean that you go overboard and become something you are not-- but we all have elements of extraversion in our personality and the job search is the time to bring them out.

Just keep in mind that using your less-preferred extravert skills will likely drain your energy-- so find ways to replenish yourself.

In the next post, I will include tips for handling the interview and networking aspects of the job search, but for now, start by analyzing your situation. What traits of introversion fit you?

How might introversion hold you back?

  • Do you avoid certain types of social situations?
  • Are you more likely to avoid phone calls?
  • Do you feel awkward at parties or other gatherings?

On the other hand, where does your introversion work well for you?

  • What are your hidden strengths?
  • Are you a good listener?
  • Do you observe and analyze people and situations well?
  • Are you thoughtful and careful in decision-making?
  • Are you a good writer?

Know your strengths and play to them in the job search. If you're a great writer, then craft a resume and cover letter that will get you the interview. If you don't enjoy using the phone, focus on emails for communicating. But keep practicing those phone skills-- you'll need them for a phone interview.

Be prepared to tell the employer your strengths. You will feel like you're bragging-- but if you don't, who will?

Tell the employer the aspects of the job you will excel in. Introverts sometimes assume that people know what they're thinking or how they feel, so don't make that assumption. Interviewers don't know unless you tell them.

You'll notice I haven't given you a list of "careers for introverts." (Well, OK, here's one.) While on the surface, certain career fields lend themselves to introversion, it never hurts to try playing against type-- you never know what talents you might find in yourself. Common sense would say that an introvert shouldn't go into sales-- but that's not always true. An introverted salesperson might have to overcome some initial discomfort around that cold call or first meeting, but might also be very good at listening to the customer and building up the one-on-one relationship that will ultimately lead to long-term sales. Not all customers want an extraverted salesperson and might actually be more comfortable with the soft-sell approach.

Challenging yourself to take on some extraverted traits in the job search may actually open new doors to skills you didn't know you possessed and maybe even lead to careers you would never have considered.

My next post will have specific tips for overcoming the challenges in interviewing and networking.

Original Article

Friday, May 21, 2010

6 Reasons Why LinkedIn Is So Critical In A Job Search

A candidate recently asked me, “How do I find a hiring manager in a large company like Microsoft?” There are a lot of ways to do this but one of the easiest and best is using LinkedIn. When I recommended this to the candidate he completely agreed, however, the problem was he only had about 60 connections. Too few to be effective.

So often I speak with candidates that just don’t understand the value of LinkedIn as a job search tool. We constantly are sent invitations to join someone’s network only to find after months of searching they are just now starting build a LinkedIn network. You should consider building your LinkedIn networking all the time. NOT JUST WHEN IN A JOB SEARCH.

Some benefits to a large LinkedIn database of contacts:

People can find you. The more people at the second and third degrees of separation the more times you will show up in a search. For example, I have around 500 contacts. However, I am linked to over 5 million people on LinkedIn. When I search for a candidate that is a huge database. LinkedIn will eliminate the need for resume databases on Ladders, Monster, Careerbuilder and other job boards. This is because it costs on average between 5,000 and 10,000 dollars to have access to these resume databases. LinkedIn is free. Why would a recruiter or any company pay that when we can use LinkedIn for free. Resumes databases by the job boards are not pick up by Google or any search engine. These are the ones you want to make sure you show up on. LinkedIn is and you can even improve your search results for as little as $25 a month. (See prior blog article SEO Your Search On Google) It helps you find the people you want an introduction to. This is very powerful. I have helped numerous people with introductions as a result of LinkedIn. On a weekly basis I receive requests indicating they found a person in my connections and would I make an introduction. I always agree. Even when working this is a great tool for resources, customer contacts and introductions, references, service providers and even potential hires for you or your company. On a personal basis it is a great way to stay in-touch with friends, colleagues, prior employees and networking contacts. When you update your profile they will get a notice and likewise when they update theirs.

Work hard at building your connections. Make every effort to reach that magic 500+. If you use Outlook download the LinkedIn tool bar. It makes inviting people very easy.

There are many more positives to building your LinkedIn network than there are negatives. Many have resisted. I believe this recession has proven to be good thing for everyone’s network.

If you have other ideas share them by adding a comment. Lets help everyone build a strong network.

A good way to start is building a network is making sure your profile is complete. If it isn’t start there and then begin expanding your contacts. Don’t miss the opportunity to get a high ranking on Google.

You can download for free our “8 Matrix LinkedIn Profile Assessment” tool.

Our complete job search home study course the, “Career Success Factor Methodology” is a comprehensive resource that covers all 5 steps in an effective job search. You can review the complete system for just $14.95. We will even pay the shipping and to ensure your success include in a copy of our job search workbook. To review the Career Success Factor Methodology CLICK HERE.

Original Post