Friday, December 28, 2012

5 Reasons Non-Job Seekers Should Be On LinkedIn


A question I frequently get when training job seekers on using social media is “Won’t my boss think I’m looking for another job if I’m using LinkedIn?”

Why You Need To Be On LinkedIn

With over 180 million LinkedIn users in the world, I honestly don’t think that even half of them are actively seeking work. More than likely, they are happily employed and happilynetworking. It’s a mistake to think of LinkedIn as a giant job board and your profile as just another resume. The power of any social networking tool is in the networking.
So, if you are currently employed and not taking your LinkedIn use seriously, you’re making a grave error. Here are five reasons:

1. You Need To Have A Large Network So You Can Use It Later

Imagine you just got laid off. And you have 10 people in your LinkedIn network. You suddenly realize that you should have invested more in getting to know people. So you start to add people like crazy to your network.
If LinkedIn doesn’t blacklist you for suspicious behavior, then the droves of new people you are inviting to your network will question your intentions. They might think, “I haven’t heard from this guy in 10 years, now all of a sudden he’s lost his job and wants to connect. What does he want from me?”
It’s always better to dig your well before you need to drink from it. If you haven’t been building social equity with your network, you’ll have little to draw from later. So don’t wait until you need it. Build a strong network on LinkedIn now. Be active. Provide value. Stay in touch.

2. Opportunities Come To You; Recruiters Look For Passive Candidates

When a company hires a contract recruiter to fill a job requisition, that company isn’t looking for someone unemployed. They wouldn’t need to hire a contract recruiter for that. There are enough unemployed people to fill every single job vacancy in the country. What the organization needs is someone who is not actively looking, called a passive candidate.
In other words, the recruiter is paid to head-hunt, steal and pillage from competitive companies, convince the happily employed person that the grass is greener, and get a huge commission from the new hire. Companies who use head-hunters are willing to pay you more than what you are making now in order to snatch you away from your cushy job.
If you aren’t on LinkedIn, you are reducing your chances of being discovered by head-hunters and having the opportunity to make more money.

3. Industry Groups Can Offer You Value And Connection

Groups on LinkedIn have really matured. I’ve found that the discussions on groups are more engaging, people are less shy about speaking their minds, and the content is improving in quality. Of course this depends on the group; this is just from my own experience. However, if you find the right groups to participate with, the value to your network and knowledge is huge.
Not only will you be exposed to news, and new ideas, but you’ll have a chance to demonstrate your expertise through commenting and discussion. Sometime alliances are formed.
For example, I was part of a group whose leader would entice you to click links to download some attractive research reports. But in order to download each report, you had to fill out a lot of personal information. I found this practice annoying and said so. Pretty soon, others in the group were agreeing with me. One guy in particular contacted me and we hit it off. Turns out we do similar things, but on separate continents. Thus both of our networks grew stronger.

20 Ways to Restart Your Job Search in 2013

By: Chad Brooks

  The past year was filled with stories offering suggestions for job hunters looking to increase their chances of landing work. Here are the top 20 pieces of advice that job seekers can use to jumpstart their job search in 2013.

[To read the full article featuring each expert, just click on their name]

Donald Kluemper, management professor at Northern Illinois University
With social media as popular as ever, it is critical that job seekers be extremely careful about what they post on Facebook, Twitter or any other online outlet that an employer might see.
"One perspective that job seekers need to realize is that there is little hope of coming back from ill-advised posts or comments made in poor taste on their profile," Kluemper said.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Fake LinkedIn Profiles: Connect, Ignore or Flag?

John Feldmann

I entered the recruiting industry about the same time social media started gaining popularity. From the beginning, it was impressed upon me the importance of having a strong LinkedIn network. So I began connecting with as many people as I could in various industries whom I felt would be good allies should I ever need to recruit in those industries. Additionally, I joined several groups, including several Open Networker groups, letting the LinkedIn community know that I welcomed invitations to connect. Naturally, as my network grew, so did the number of invitations I received. But as I continued to receive invitations to connect, it became obvious that many of these invitations were not from real people, but rather from fake LinkedIn profiles.

Why Do Users Create Fake Profiles?

I have since read several articles about how and why people create fake LinkedIn profiles. There seem to be a number of reasons, and certainly none of them are good. After all, if their creators’ intentions were pure, they would not need fake profiles. Most likely, the primary reason is for the purpose of gathering data. Dozens of fake profiles will likely achieve more connections than one authentic profile, thus allowing the creator to gather e-mail addresses, Twitter handles and any other information that can be sold to spam sites, sites that promise to increase your connections or followers for a price, or worse, any pertinent info that can be used for identity theft.
The thing that I find most interesting, however, is that all the fake LinkedIn profiles from whom I receive connection invitations all share the same characteristics:
  1. The first and last names are always in all lowercase letters. About 50 percent of the time, there is a period directly before the last name.
  2. The profile has very few connections – usually less than 50, sometimes even less than 10.
  3. Personal info is very limited. There are almost always two or three previous employers listed, a position title, and no other information.
  4. The photo is always generic. It’s usually a picture of something other than a person, and when it is a person’s photo, it appears to be a photo taken from the internet of someone doing something other than posing for a photo.
  5. The profile is almost always from Pakistan. I have no idea why, but nearly every fake profile connection request I receive lists Pakistan as the location.
Now, I understand the reasons for creating a fake LinkedIn profile....  Read Why and the Complete TheUnderCoverRecruiter article

5 Great Alternatives To Job Boards


3. Twitter

Oh yes, you can find a job on Twitter. Use hash tags to find open jobs, find and follow recruiters, hiring managers, companies you want to work for, and career professionals. You never know when it might give you a great lead.

4. In-Person Networking Events

Toastmasters, local association meetings, professional group meetings. Get connected with other people face-to-face. Hand out copies of your resume, networking cards, and have your elevator speech ready when it’s your 30 seconds to shine. You never know who might help you out.

5. Targeting Employers

Send your resume and cover letter on professional paper stock (Resume paper, people! Get some!) in an envelope … with the name and address of the person to whom you are sending it—and be sure that it’s hand-written. Using fancy labels and printing directly onto the envelope (while this does look nice) it nevertheless looks like junk mail and it will probably get tossed rather than opened.
However, who doesn’t want to open a hand-addressed envelope to see what’s inside? Curiosity will get them every time. Target companies within a certain radius of your house (however far you’re willing to commute), and send them copies of your resume and cover letter. They may have a great opening you’re perfect for—but they haven’t advertised it, and you would never know it’s available.
Many other ways exist to find a job these days, and these are just a few ideas to get you off the job boards every second of the day and hopefully spare you some frustration. The important thing is to remember to diversify your search and not spend all day in one place – whether it’s job boards or somewhere else.

Alternatives 1,2 and Complete Article

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

5 Reasons to Continue Job Hunting over the Holidays

Job seekers who put their searches on hold during December may miss out on valuable opportunities unique to this month. Get rid of the outdated notion that nothing worthy happens in the hiring world between Thanksgiving and New Year and take advantage of the following:

1.  New openings
The end of the year is a prime time for retirements and internal promotions, which create vacancies that need to be filled. Likewise, some companies begin a new budget cycle in January – providing managers with money to hire staff. Smart businesses want to settle their staffing needs now so that they can proceed full steam ahead when the calendar turns.

2.  Less competition
The applicant pool often shrinks during the month of December as job searchers become engrossed in holiday plans or assume hirers will be out of the office. Fewer résumés coming in means yours has a better chance of being noticed.

3.  No-pressure networking
Tired of always feeling like you’re “bugging” people in your network? Christine Bolzan, founder of Graduate Career Coaching, notes that an easy and highly effective way to reach individuals and stay on their minds without asking for anything is to send holiday greetings.
“Reaching out to your contacts only when there is a current opening at a target company is too late. You’ve missed the boat, and in this tight job market, timing is everything. During the holiday season, there are so very many ways to make contacts and touch base with individuals who will subsequently have you in mind when hiring resumes in January. A nice card sent via U.S. Postal Service (NOT e-mail) with a handwritten, personalized message inside is the perfect ‘ping’ to those in your network,” Bolzan says.

Tips 4-5 and Complete CareerBliss Article

Thursday, December 20, 2012

13 tips to find a job in 2013


New year, new start. When it comes to your job search, there’s a lot you can do to ensure 2013 is the year you find the job that is out there waiting for you.

1) Learn from 2012 mistakes - If 2012 didn’t go so great, take a moment to think about what went wrong. Did you have a lot of interviews but no offers? Bush up on your interview skills. Did you not hear back on many of the applications you sent in? Take another look (or two…or three) to see why your applications weren’t successful.

2) Become a master spell-checker - The number one mistake job seekers make is having spelling typos in applications! While this may seem small, hiring managers have told us that this can get your application rejected because it makes you look a little sloppy. Not sure exactly how to make sure your application is error free? Check out this video with three tips to make sure your app is in top shape.

3) Get your family and friends involved - Try making your job search a team effort. Tell your family and friends that you are searching for a job. A strong support system is important – they will cheer you on in victory and help pick you up when you are down. Your support team can also keep an eye out for any opportunities they come across.

4) Volunteer - Volunteering is ideal for the job seeker who is looking to gain experience and/or looking to help fill in employment gaps on their resume. Not only will you be helping society, you also will be helping yourself in the process. Trust us, it works!

5) Map out how you want your year to go - Goals can be very powerful. Mapping out your priorities is a way to make sure you do what you need to in order to get that job you’ve been searching for. Simple goals, like applying to five jobs online and five jobs in person per week, will not only help get you to your ultimate goal, but it will also give you a sense of accomplishment and a purpose for the week.

6) Follow up on all applications - You may be tired of us saying this, but following up is so important to your job search! Hiring managers tell us that this is a great way to stand out and get noticed. We hear from hired members all the time who tell us they got hired because they followed up. If you do it right, it can take you far. Don’t worry if you’re not sure what to do, we have a video where we break it all down for you.

Tips 7-13 and Complete Article

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

5 Critical LinkedIn Optimizations That Take 5 Minutes or Less

Does your LinkedIn profile make it look like you're hiding something? Five quick, essential updates.

LinkedIn has become the de facto--and therefore the most powerful--social network for business. In case you weren't yet aware, LinkedIn is rolling out a revamp of the user profile. While the change has elicited a mixed reaction, eventually everyone will be migrated to it. So if you haven't spent much time learning about and optimizing your LinkedIn profile, now is a good time to get cracking.

Time, or lack thereof, shouldn't be an excuse: Each of these tips should take you five minutes or less, and you'll end up with a more engaging profile that gets more hits and better results.

1.  Upload your photo.  These days, if you don't have your photo on LinkedIn, you look like you're hiding something. People want to see the people whom they plan to interview or do business with. Unlike in personal social networks like Facebook or Twitter, the expectation on LinkedIn is a photo in which you look polished and professional. Be ready for your close-up: If you can, use a headshot rather than a full-body pose or group photo.

Uploading your photo is easy. Just click the Profile link on the menu and then Edit Profile. In the dedicated space for your photo, you will see a camera icon.

Once you click the camera icon, you'll be taken to a screen where you can upload or edit your photo. It's pretty self-explanatory.

2.  Customize your Professional Headline. Your Professional Headline appears next to your photo, under your name. This headline can be completely customized. Professional headlines help explain to people who you are, not just what you do, so you may want it to be different and more descriptive than your ordinary job title. The words in your headline are also indexed in search engines, so put them to work.

You customize your professional headline in the same edit profile screen into which you upload your photo. Click on the word Edit (older profiles) or the pencil icon (newer profiles) and enter a headline that best describes you. You have a 120 character maximum.

3.  Enrich your Summary with relevant keywords. LinkedIn's Summary enables you to describe yourself, your work history, your background and any other attributes you think will help you sell yourself when making and seeking connections. That alone should give you good reason to be deliberate when crafting your Summary. But in addition to the power of those words with the people who read them, you can also impact your visibility in search engines with the keywords you choose to weave into your Summary. You have 2,000 characters, so go for it!

(Yeah, it's kind of nice to be listed 3rd out of 52 million results!)

Tips 4,5, and Complete Inc. Article

Randstad Provides 7 Tips for a Successful Job Search in 2013

As the economy continues to slowly improve, the job market is showing positive signs for job-seekers. While the unemployment rate dropped to 7.7 percent in November, many still find themselves unemployed and searching for new jobs, or passively looking for better opportunities. Randstad, the second largest HR services and staffing company in the world, has compiled a few tips to help boost individuals' job search success.

Don't discount holiday networking
The holiday season presents numerous networking opportunities. Personal and business-related parties and charitable events are opportunities to socialize with existing contacts and make new connections in a relaxed atmosphere. Whether or not individual events are conducive to speaking about career goals and aspirations, they can open the doors to follow-up conversations. Similarly, the holidays are a good time to reconnect.  Reach out to a mentor or former colleague and make plans to catch-up for an informal lunch or coffee after the New Year.

Be open to temporary or contract positions
According to the Randstad Workforce 360 Study, 67 percent of companies are currently using contingent workers in some capacity and most say that contingent workers comprise a steady or increasing percentage of their overall employee populations. The same study found that temporary and contract employees also have higher job satisfaction (86%) compared to permanent workers (73%). The most important thing you need to do is get your foot in the door. Once you are in, make yourself indispensable so they do not want to lose you.

Be strategic about your job search
When building a job search strategy, research the fastest-growing careers in your target industry. If the target industry is technology, it is helpful to know that IT spending is expected to exceed $2 trillion in 2013, according to research firm IDC. Mobile devices represent 57 percent of that growth, and accordingly, career opportunities in software development for mobile apps and enterprise application integration are expected to increase.

It's still all about who you know
There are currently 12.1 million people who are unemployed and only 3.6 million vacant positions in the United States, according to The Bureau of Labor Statistics. Many applicants rely on job board websites where hundreds of people may apply to each post. If you have specific companies in mind, dig deep into your own personal network. You'd be surprised to see the number of companies you are actually linked-in to through your second and third degree connections.

Tips 5-7 and Complete Article

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Top 100 Twitter Accounts Job Seekers MUST Follow: 2013

Let’s face it… there are many self-proclaimed career gurus, ninjas and experts on Twitter. So, how do you know where to turn for the really good advice?

To help answer that question, we’re proud to present our third annual version of our “Top 100 Twitter Accounts Job Seekers MUST Follow”…

Like you, we value quality over quantity and engagement over self-promotion. So, as with our previous lists, every person or organization on this list has shown us true character – and a willingness to help beyond just selling product. We’re also very proud – and humbled – to say that many professional and personal relationships on this list have moved way past 140 and have become terrific friendships and partnerships.

@animal You may not always like how his advice is delivered, but he is rarely wrong.

@BrazenCareerist The best career community online… period.

@CareerRocketeer A career advice powerhouse as well as a great Linkedin group.

@careersherpa A perrenial favorite… always sharing, always giving (and really smart!)

@Glassdoor Great blog – and great career info throughout their site and Twitter stream.

@HireEffect A job search coach with a serious passion for networking – and delivering.

@RecruitingBlogs This is where we learn how the other side of the interview table thinks.

@CornOnTheJob Rich’s #jobhuntchat is the best career chat on Twitter (and he’s a great guy).

@lindseypollak Simply the best… blogger, expert, speaker, author and Gen Y supporter.

@resumeservice A master resume expert, Rosa is also a great blogger and teacher.

All 100 Tweeters and Complete Article

9 Mistakes You're Making on LinkedIn

What separates the master networkers from the amateurs? The former tend not to make these mistakes.

Lots of articles describe how to create a more marketable LinkedIn profile, how to find the right groups to join, how to choose the best profile photo... I should know, I've written about that. Oh, and that. Yep, and that too.

Since most people understand the value of taking those steps, let's go deeper. To really harness the power of LinkedIn, don't make these mistakes:

1. You give only because you expect to receive.
Connect with people on LinkedIn and you can write a recommendation that gets displayed on their profiles.

That's awesome, unless you're only giving recommendations because you want one in return. Then it's tacky.

For example, say you're a plumber. A pipe burst and we call you at three in the morning. You immediately rush over, fix the leak, and save us from inadvertently converting our basement into a swimming pool. I'm extremely grateful and I write you a deservedly glowing recommendation.
Then I ask you to write a recommendation for me.
The problem is, you don't know me professionally. The only thing you really know about me is that I could be heard in the background screaming like a little girl when my wife called you. How can you recommend me? You can't. You shouldn't. And you shouldn't be asked to.

Give sincere recommendations. Recommend because you want to, not because you expect to receive a recommendation in return. The people who know and respect you may return the "favor." If so, great; if not, also great. Either way you've given credit where credit is due.

2. You don't give at all.
Great networking is based on giving, not receiving. Endorsements are an easy way to give: Go to someone's profile, click a few boxes, maybe click a few plus signs--done.

Endorse another person's skills and you not only give them a virtual pat on the back, you may also help them show up in search results.

Show other people you respect their skills. Sure, it may be a good networking move, but making other people feel good about themselves is reason enough.

3. You wait until you have a need.
If you put off making solid connections until the day you need something--customers, employees, a job, or just a better network--then you've waited too long. Think about where you someday want to be and start now to build the connections, the network, and the following that will support those goals.
Building great connections is a parallel, not a serial, task. Later is always too late.

4. You forget where you are.
Most people use LinkedIn as a professional social media platform. So when you want to leave comments, share material, etc., consider letting your freak flag fly somewhere else. You never know when a potential employer, employee, customer, vendor--anyone--may notice.
Safe, at least where being professional is concerned, means never having to feel sorry.

5. You ignore the signs.
LinkedIn clearly aspires to be more than a place where millions of professionals make connections.
In less than two years LinkedIn Today has become an extremely powerful news aggregator. Landing an article on a category page generates a flood of traffic; landing an article on the home page can crash your servers.

LinkedIn Today now provides original content from "thought leaders" and allows you--whether you are connected to the person or not--to follow those individuals, comment directly on their posts, share their content with your network, etc. Currently only "influencers" can be followed (Richard Branson has over a million) but it's safe to assume that someday all users will be able to directly post their own content and build their own followings.

What's next? I don't know. All I know is something will be next. Pay attention, look ahead, and start positioning yourself now.

Smart people get the most out of a tool. Really smart people do too, but they also plan for how to get the most out of what a tool may become.

Signs 6 - 9 and Complete Inc. Article

Monday, December 17, 2012

8 Creative Tips to Help You Maximize Your New LinkedIn Personal Profile Page for 2013

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few months, you’ve probably noticed a LOT of new changes coming out of LinkedIn. I do free monthly webinars on LinkedIn (you can sign up here to get notified of future ones), and I now have to spend the first 5 to 10 minutes just updating all of the attendees on all of the recent changes that LinkedIn has undergone since the previous webinar – just a few weeks ago!

Considering that LinkedIn profiles are the most viewed pages on LinkedIn, and your profile page really is every professional’s starting place to claim and create their own professional brand, the new user interface for LinkedIn profiles should be viewed as the most significant update to LinkedIn in 2012. While I’ve blogged about LinkedIn profile tips in the past, it’s time to take a look at the new user interface and determine how to maximize the new profile for 2013 and beyond. While not everything has changed, here are the key areas in which you should focus your efforts to get your profile up to speed:

1.) Don’t Forget the Basics: Photo, Name & Professional Headline
The fact of the matter is that the People Search functionality of LinkedIn should be viewed as Google Search for Professionals. With that in mind, similar to the importance of the headline of a web page that appears in Google (in addition to Google Authorship, but I digress…), what others see prominently featured in LinkedIn search results are your photo (which should look professional), your name (which should be displayed in full without any gimmicky nicknames), and a truly unique and “branded” professional headline to increase the inbound marketing power of your LinkedIn profile. For most of you, that means you should probably be looking at taking a new photo as well as taking a look at your professional headline and ensuring it still represents your current objectives. It should also be noted that in the new user interface, the above three features do appear slightly more prominent as well (bigger size photo, name in bold, less noise to make your professional headline stand out more), so doing this is all the more important.

2.) Make Your Profile More Discoverable
Unless you try to edit your profile you won’t see it, but LinkedIn has created more granular ways for you to decide which specific profile content you want to make more visible. Assuming that you are on LinkedIn to be found, it makes sense that you would want your entire profile visible to the public search engines. However, even though my profile has always been set to be as publicly on display as possible, I noticed that the new LinkedIn settings meant that certain sections were NOT being exposed to search engines. Below is the screenshot of what my settings looked like when I first saw them. You’ll want to make sure that you check off every box like I ended up doing.
new linkedin profile search engine settings
Customize your new LinkedIn profile to maximize your chances of being found in search engines.

3.) Get Active!
In the world of online marketing, what appears “above the fold” on your website is critical in that this is the content a viewer will see without having to scroll down. What features prominently in the new profile is your “Activity,” or status updates as well as other actions that you perform on LinkedIn, which wipes out all but the title of your professional summary. This makes your most recent LinkedIn status update all the more crucial as it will be featured rather prominently above the fold and visible to all who view your profile. LinkedIn’s decision to prevent you from automating publishing every tweet as a status update was a welcome move to make your network updates more professional, but you still need to ask yourself before posting any status update if they are truly 1) professional and 2) aligned with your branding. You also want to make sure you post at a certain frequency, say a minimum of once a week, so that your latest update doesn’t seem stale and out of date. You can easily use LinkedIn Today to curate relevant content to share with your network, so now’s the time to make that feature part of your LinkedIn routine.

4.) Create Your Professional Gallery
When LinkedIn announced that they were discontinuing their LinkedIn Events application, it wasn’t clear at the time what LinkedIn was really doing. Sometime ago LinkedIn had already stopped supporting the Google Presentations application, which was the preferred method I recommended to embed a video into your LinkedIn profile. Now we realize what has happened: LinkedIn has stopped supporting the applications platform in its entirety. Instead, LinkedIn has taken the wise move of simply allowing you to add any visual type of content (i.e. video, photo, presentation, document, etc.) into your LinkedIn profile by simply inserting a link. This is truly an eloquent way of supercharging your professional branding by adding some powerful visual context to it. Below is a sample of what I have done, mixing together SlideShare presentations, YouTube videos (not only my own but others that I have appeared in), and even an Instagram photo!

The new Professional Gallery is a no-brainer that every professional should use to showcase their achievements.

Two things to note about this new Professional Gallery: 1) You can edit the titles (which appear in the above thumbnails) as well as the description (which will appear when someone views your specific content) and 2) You can add your professional gallery both at the end of your Professional Summary (which I would recommend) as well as below any of your work experience or education positions (which you may want to additionally do if you have a lot of visual content that you want to sprinkle amongst various parts of your profile OR for those types of content which may not be as relevant to your current professional branding or objectives).

Tips 5-8 and Complete Article

8 Essential Steps to Getting Hired by a Small Business

Many job seekers do: In the average small business there's usually less bureaucracy, greater opportunities to step outside defined roles... and if you someday hope to own your own business, a look behind the scenes at some of the realities of entrepreneurship.
Great -- but landing the job can require a different approach. While some business owners do have a corporate background, many are lifelong entrepreneurs. And many see the hiring process as a necessary evil; as a friend says, "I don't have time for this... I have a business to run."
That perspective makes getting hired a lot harder for a job seeker who takes a conventional approach... and a lot easier for a job seeker who puts in the time and effort -- and it will take time and effort -- to understand their audience and really set themselves apart:

1. Decide who you want to work for.
Obvious, right? Not really. Many job seekers play the numbers game and respond to as many job postings as possible.
That means the owner has to sift through dozens of potential candidates to find the right person. (Good luck emerging from that particular pile.) To show a small business owner that you are the right candidate, that means you have to do the work.
Instead of shotgunning your resume, put in the time to determine a business you definitely want to work for, and then...

2. Really know the company.
Pretend I'm the owner. "I would love to work for you," you say to me; what I actually hear is, "I would love for you to pay me."
You can't possibly know if you want to work for my company unless you know a lot about my company; that's the difference between just wanting a job and wanting a role in my business. Talk to friends, relatives, vendors, customers... anyone you can find. Check the owner and the employees out on social media; when you know the people, you know the company. Learn as much as you can.
Then leverage what you learn and...

3. Determine how you will hit the ground running.
Most small business owners hate to train new employees. Training takes time, money, effort... all of which are in short supply. An ideal new hire can be productive immediately, at least in part.
While you don't need to be able to do everything required, it helps if the owner is confident of getting some level of immediate return on their hiring investment. (Remember, hiring you is an investment that needs to generate a return.)
Identify one or two important things you can contribute from day one. Then...

4. Don't just tell. Show.
Put what you can offer on display. If you're a programmer, mock up a new application. If you want a sales position, create a plan for how you'll target a new market or customer base, or describe how you will implement marketing strategies the business is currently not using.
A show and tell is your chance to prove you know the company and what you can offer. Your initiative will be impressive and you'll go a long way towards overcoming concerns that you're all talk and no action.
Is it fair you're doing a little work on spec? Should you have to create a mockup or plan in order to get the job? Not really and probably not... but doing so will definitely set you apart.
Never let "fair" -- when the only person "disadvantaged" is you -- get in the way of achieving your goals.

Tips 5-8 and Complete Article

Friday, December 14, 2012

Best Practices For Working With Recruiters

by Phil Rosenberg

Few candidates maximize the potential of working with recruiters.

Often it’s just because the candidate doesn’t really understand best practices of working with recruiters.
By understanding how recruiters work, what they care about and what they ignore, it provides you with a superior model to gain recruiter attention and employer submission.

But when you ignore recruiters’ needs (or don’t understand them), you lessen the chances that you’ll be front of mind, which reduces the number of times your resume is submitted to hiring managers.
Many times, candidates blame recruiters for their own failures, calling them impolite or unprofessional … rather than gaining an understanding why recruiters aren’t providing the communication you want.

You’ll gain far better results from recruiters when you understand these best practices:

  1. Don’t think that recruiters work for you: They don’t. They work for the employer. You’re inventory … get used to it. Unless you want to never hear from that recruiter again, keep the attitude at bay. Sure there are lots of recruiters, but why burn the bridge that might have your perfect opportunity?

  2. Reply quickly: The first candidate recruiters submit is often the first candidate spoken to about the job. Recruiters typically only have a limited number of submissions they can make to hiring managers, without giving their client the impression that they’re throwing stuff against the wall to see what sticks … a waste of the employer’s time.

  3. Recruiters rarely help career changers: A recruiter’s job is to find an exact match for the employer. Employers rarely contract with recruiters to find career changers – they work with recruiters to find someone from the same industry and job function. When you first talk to a recruiter, if you outline your goals as changing careers, don’t expect the recruiter to stay in touch.

  4. Recruiters communicate with the candidates they have the best chance of placing: It has nothing to do with how professional or polite the recruiter is. If recruiters don’t feel they have (or will likely have) a good match for you, where you’ll be viewed as a superior candidate, you’re not going to hear from them. It’s not a recruiter’s job to stay in touch with you … a recruiter’s job to stay in touch with hiring managers and with the candidates most likely to be placed. If a recruiter isn’t trying to place you, he/she won’t have time to call you back.

7 Status Updates To Post On LinkedIn When In A Job Search


If you’re like many of my clients, you know you need to be more active on LinkedIn. But, you feel like you don’t know where to start. Right?

Once you get a professional headshot up and your summary written, there’s a lot to tackle. Should you be more active in LinkedIn Answers? Participate in discussions in Groups? Start listing the books you’ve read? Where to begin?

To avoid feeling overwhelmed, you might want to start with the familiar. You are probably already on Facebook (as there are now almost one billion users, it’s kind of hard to avoid). If you feel pretty comfortable posting status updates to your friends, why not start using LinkedIn with that same approach?

It’s not terribly different. You’re sharing the things that interest you, or that will be helpful to the people you know. It’s just in the professional realm instead of the personal. (Although if you are in an industry that relies on a personal connection, I think it’s OK to blur the lines slightly.)

Just like Facebook, you are sharing things that represent your interests and personality. The difference is that you’re keeping it professional and building your personal brand. If you’re not familiar with personal branding, you can learn a bit about this by reading my post, “Why You Should Care About Personal Branding.”

Basically, it’s the essence of who you are at work. Your posts on LinkedIn can be a huge tool in promoting your brand. It can help your network get to know what you are all about professionally. With the right types of posts, they’ll soon appreciate your expertise!

So, back to the question, where do you start? And, if you are going to start with status updates, what posts should a job seeker be making? Well, I can tell you what you don’t want to post!

Please do not post, “I’m in a job hunt, anyone have leads for me? Who’s hiring?” This screams desperation. Plus, it’s not specific enough to have your network help you.

So, to let the world know you are looking, without saying it directly, you’ve got some options. Post about:
  1. Networking events, meetings, or seminars you are attending. (“Having a great time at my weekly job club!”)
  2. People you are meeting in your search. (“Got some great tips from my job search coach today!”) Give them kudos and recommendations, when appropriate.
  3. Links to helpful articles, websites, blog posts, or videos written by well-respected subject matter experts that your network will benefit from. (“These are some insightful points about the rebound of the _______ market.”)

Thursday, December 13, 2012

20 great ways to find a job using LinkedIn

by Karalyn

Thinking of using LinkedIn to find a job? It is an absolute gold mine of information on jobs, and, as far as I am concerned, a real game changer in the business of online recruitment. Companies like Rio Tinto have signed deals with LinkedIn to directly target their passive pool of candidates. LinkedIn will promote Rio Tinto jobs through their network. I recently received something similar in my inbox from Hudson, a global recruiter, suggesting I might like a consulting job. While I wasn’t interested, I was interested enough in having a look at what they were offering.

LinkedIn is a game changer for job seekers as well. Using Linkedin can put the power back into the hands of candidates and out of the hands of recruitment consultants. There are plenty of ways you can be proactive, rather than reactive in your job search. Here are my 20 top LinkedIn job hunting tips, in no particular order.

1.  Get a decent profile. There is no point being half-hearted. This point is my big bandwagon point for professionals and job seekers.

2.  Connect with people. Look up people from your past and find out where they work now. Use the connect email to invite people for coffee and find out what they are up to. Show some interest in them, and what you are looking for, job wise, will inevitably come up
3.  Join groups of interest and participate in discussions. I know of one person who did little more than this. He was approached by a recruiter about a job, based on the thoroughness of a question he answered.

4.  Find a role model networker who is working in your desired area. Look to see which groups they belong to and join those.

5.   Start a group around your area of interest and expertise. Invite people who can add value to join. Welcome them to the group and ask them a question directly. You can build up your knowledge of their organisation, any problems they may be facing, and approach them with a solution in mind (you).

6.  Look to see who has viewed your profile, and add them to your network. If they are recruiters, see if they have jobs  coming up in your area. As a carrot to see you, mention that you may have useful contacts for them.

7.  Look to see where people with your background are working and what their responsibilities are. That way if you want to approach a company directly about jobs, you are making an informed and targeted approach.

Tips 8-10 and complete article

How to get a hidden job

Do you ever get those LinkedIn update emails which proclaim that yet another of your contacts has landed a great new job? A job that you would have been qualified for, and would have applied for if only you'd known it existed?

It's not surprising that the jobs they are landing are those you didn't know about -- hidden or unadvertised jobs are where you find the best opportunities. What exactly are hidden jobs? Executive talent agent Debra Feldman says that hidden jobs are those that only come into being when the right candidate presents himself.

That may seem like an odd method of hiring. We all know how the hiring process goes. Employee Jane resigns, then manager Karen calls up the recruiter, who helps write a job description and then the job is posted internally and externally. Right? Well, yes, that happens. And it's not a bad way to find a job. The only problem is that you're competing with numerous other candidates for each one of these jobs. And furthermore, you're trying to change your resume to fit the qualifications that Jane had, regardless of whether those qualities are what the company really needs.
Feldman says:

When a hiring authority has an opportunity to restructure and can bring in people and or can promote or have a way to replace a resource, they are happy to know about a candidate in advance. There can also be a situation when there is no vacancy now, but the boss knows there will be one in the future. Additionally, it can be when a company hasn't gotten around to advertising a vacancy for many reasons -- don't have a budget to advertise, budget isn't available for 6 months, or don't want a thousand applicants and prefer to find talent through referrals. These are the hidden jobs.

And these hidden jobs are the difference between finding a job that you can do and landing a job that was made for you. Have you ever been on an interview where it was clear that they already had a candidate in mind and that candidate wasn't you? That's because this person found the hidden job, presented herself to the hiring manager and the manager decided to write the job description around this person's qualifications. It's a losing game for everyone else. (They interview you because the company has policies requiring it, even though it's a thoughtless waste of time for everyone involved, but especially for a candidate who busts her buns for a job she can never have.)

You have to get people to know you and know your skills. This is why networking is so critical. It's not about just keeping up with old coworkers (although that is valuable), it's about taking the time and making the effort to always be job hunting by making new targeted contacts according to Feldman. Who are these connections? Individuals who have the ability to hire you, appreciate you and importantly, will remember you and contact you and recommend you to their connections. "It's not just what you know or even who you know, but who knows, likes, and trusts you and will share job leads with you," Feldman explained.

More advice, tips, and complete article

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Top 10 Words Not to Include in Your LinkedIn Profile


There is plenty of information you should include in your LinkedIn Profile - your education, your work history, your skills, your volunteer experience,  your association memberships, recommendations, links to your professional websites and Twitter, and a compelling and engaging summary that will attract potential employers.
There are also some things it's fine to leave out, including some of the terms that almost everyone uses in their LinkedIn Profile.  Your goal, when creating your Profile, is to stand out from the crowd and make a great impression on everyone who reads your Profile.
What shouldn't you include?  Here is LinkedIn's 2012 list of the top 10 buzzwords that are overused by professionals in the United States:
  • Creative
  • Organizational
  • Effective
  • Motivated
  • Extensive experience

How To Get the Job You Really, Really Want

Written by

A very good friend of mine is a brilliant fellow named Otis Collier. We have worked together on several occasions and are planning to do a VERY cool project together in the near-future, but more on that later. I wanted to share with you guys a job hunting strategy that he shared with me that was like… “Wow, why didn’t I think of that? Its like… so obvious and would work too.” But I digress, here is his plan, something I call “The Otis Collier Method” (Patent pending)

Step 1: Find a job that you want.

Step 2: Find out if the company has an employee referral program. (And who doesn’t these days?)

Step 3: Approach someone in the company and say, in so many words, how would you like to make a couple of bucks? All you have to do is forward my resume to your company recruiter. If I get hired, you get the employee referral bonus. If I do not get hired, its bad for me, but nothing happens to you. Its a no-risk way to earn extra cash with VERY little work.

How smart is that? I thought it was very smart. In fact, as soon as he shared that gem with me, the little hamster in my mind started running in a wheel. Does every company have an employee referral program? Hmm… The quickest (and easiest) way to find out is to go to the career section of the company I am interested in and look at their Career section. I am chomping on some Frosted Flakes as I brainstorm this, so let me look up the Kellogg’s website to show you what I mean.
Okay, so, if employee referral programs are mentioned on company career pages… Hmm… yup! There is a way I can search that on Google. For example…  Find out how to Google it and read the complete article

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Job Seekers - Market Your Personal Brand: Top 10 LinkedIn Add-Ons


Would you like to enhance the quality of your LinkedIn profile in a way that encourages recruiters and hiring managers to read yours more thoroughly? If so, consider supplementing your profile with one or more strategic LinkedIn add-ons.

Top 10 LinkedIn Add-Ons For Your Brand

Many job seekers are unaware that they can attach documents and media to a LinkedIn profile. Yet doing so turns your profile into a makeshift online portfolio and gives you greater flexibility in promoting your career brand to recruiters, hiring managers, and influential contacts.
What do I mean by profile add-ons? Through the one-click installation of a few applications, or software snippits, to your profile, you can “attach” documents, spreadsheets, videos, audios, and slideshows to your LinkedIn URL. To tempt you with some rich possibilities, here are my current Top 10 favorite LinkedIn add-ons:

1. A Personal Marketing Brief

A marketing brief is a one-page document that succinctly and strategically showcases your career brand, job search goals, work history, and achievement track record. Recruiters love them and often use this document’s content to create their own briefs on your background when they choose to share your candidacy with their client companies.

2. Your Executive Bio

Bios are more formal documents than marketing briefs, and are also more narrative in style. For executives, this is a must-have tool that serves many different networking purposes. Attach one to your profile to help recruiters and hiring managers get to know your background before they see your resume.

3. Your Resume

If you’re presently employed, this option isn’t a great idea. But if you’re a free agent, then consider attaching your resume to your profile. You won’t be able to tailor it toward specific opportunities, of course, but if you attach more than one version, you can help recruiters in different industries understand why you’re a candidate they cannot ignore.

4. A Leadership Brief

Appropriate for experienced leaders, this brief outlines detail-rich examples of your leadership experience. This is a one or two-page document that contains less branding and fewer work experience details. Instead, this brief dives deep into your leadership CAR (Challenge-Action-Results) stories.

5. A Case Study (Or 2 Or 3)

Similar to a leadership brief, this document provides in-depth detail on your best CAR stories. Unlike the leadership brief, a single case study may take up a whole page. Or, you may have two to three shorter case studies on a single page. Case studies can cover a wide array of achievements, but must be positive with impactful results

Add-Ons 6 - 10 and complete article

6 Tips to Shorten a Job Search

By Megan Marie Sullivan

The economic outlook has been looking very grim, and can be disheartening to those of us who are trying to enter the job force for the first time. However, a savvy seeker can get into the game quickly if he or she keeps a few simple rules and tips in mind:

1. Your full-time job is to find a full-time job:

Every workplace has its standards, and so should your job search. In a competitive market, a job seeker should apply for 10-15 positions a day, and plan to follow-up with a phone call after a week. Keep an organized list of companies, positions, and contact names, as well as a calendar of appointments and interviews. Remember that time is still money (now it’s just money you are not making) so use it wisely.

2. Friends and family want to help

Often this is the key source of job leads. Human resource personnel often look for potential job candidates through their current employees, as it saves them the time of scouting and money incurred in posting job ads. One important thing to remember, however, is that they do not always do a perfect job. Sometimes family members will recommend you for a position without a clear understanding of your skills, or friends will ask you to contact a company that you do not think is a good fit. It is important to consider all leads that arrive through your primary resources, as they might stop being your job advocate if you turn down what they think is a good offer!

3. Use the Internet wisely

Specifically, take your search beyond! and are great sources for job leads. and now allow you to create profiles so that you can apply without re-uploading your resume. and feature non-for-profit postings. For highly-focused searches, do a search on Google Maps for the type of company you want to work for within your desired geographic zone. From here you can find a list of websites for companies that you want to work for, and can check their career pages for job openings, or send your resume for consideration.

Tips 4-6 and complete article

Monday, December 10, 2012

How To Job Search On LinkedIn Confidentially


We speak with job seekers every now and then who are concerned that jumping on LinkedIn or suddenly improving their profile will alert their potential employer or colleagues that they’re in a job search. Which brings up the question – is it possible to job search on LinkedIn without being “found out”?

How To Job Search On LinkedIn Confidentially

After speaking with a potential client this week who wanted us to write his LinkedIn profile for him but was nervous that his connections would figure out what he was up to, I decided to do a little research of my own. Here are some tips I found for conducting a job search on LinkedIn on the “down low.”
You have the ability to turn off your network updates. There are some great tips from Meg Guiseppi on
Adjust who can see your activity and connections. Find out more at
Change your profile settings so you can browse profiles of target companies and make the right connections you need without anyone knowing.
Here’s how:
  • Go to your profile settings and click privacy settings.
  • Under privacy settings click profile views.
  • Under the last setting click that you want to be completely invisible to users that you’ve viewed.
A few additional tips to remember when job search confidentially on LinkedIn:
  • Do not post status updates that say you’re in a job search or include that information anywhere else on your profile. (duh, right?)
  • Leave the box on your profile indicating you’re open to new job opportunities unchecked.
  • Be mindful of what you post and reply to in job search-related groups and how you answer questions in discussion groups.
And now for a few things to make sure you DO when job searching on LinkedIn: To find out what to do read the rest of the Careerealism article

10 Pieces of Lame Job-Search Advice


Not every piece of job search advice you hear is worth following. In fact, some of it is downright bad and will hurt your chances. Here are 10 pieces of advice that you should ignore every time:

1. Collect letters of recommendation from previous managers before you start your job hunt. 
Reality: You can skip this step entirely. Employers know that those letters don't count for much since no one puts critical information in them. Plus, when hiring managers reach the reference-checking stage of the hiring process, they want to talk to your references—on the phone, where they can ask questions and probe for more information. Managers want to hear your references' tone of voice, hear where they hesitate before answering, and hear what they say when asked about potential problem areas.

2. You need to track down the hiring manager's name so that you can address your cover letter to him or her.
Reality: This is another unnecessary step. If the hiring manager's name is easily available, go ahead and use it. But you don't need to call to track it down or do other sleuthing. Hiring managers rarely think, "Wow, this person took the trouble to call and find out my name. What amazing initiative!" It just doesn't matter that much, so instead put that time into writing a great cover letter. Speaking of which…

3. Employers don't really read cover letters.
Reality: A well-written cover letter with personality can get you an interview when your resume alone wouldn't have. Sure, not every hiring manager cares about cover letters, but many do and you have no way of knowing which type you're dealing with. With so many stories of cover letters opening doors that otherwise would have stayed shut, it would be foolish to pass up this incredibly effective way of standing out.

4. Don't leave the ball in the employer's court—say you'll call to schedule an interview.
Reality: Too many job seekers end their cover letters with a statement like, "I'll call in a week to schedule an interview." This is pushy and overly aggressive. Job seekers don't get to decide to schedule an interview; employers do. And employers would spend all day fielding calls if the hundreds of applicants who apply for any given position were to call to follow up. It might be hard to accept, but once you apply, the ball is in the employer's court.

5. Stop by the business you want to work for and apply in person.
Reality: This isn't good salesmanship; it's annoying. Most companies include specific instructions about how they want you to apply, and unless "in person" is included, they don't want you stopping by. Plus, many companies only accept resumes electronically because they use electronic screening systems. (Retail and food service are exceptions to this; in-person applications tend to be more common in those industries.)

Tips 6 - 10 and Complete US News Article

Friday, December 7, 2012

Another Way to Search LinkedIn Without Boolean

As JobSync works on a new tool for searching applicant tracking systems, an ERE reader from Glattbrugg, Switzerland, emailed me today to tell me about a new tool for searching LinkedIn.
It’s called “RecruitIn,” with the last two letters a play on the “In” from LinkedIn.

With RecruitIn, you put in some search parameters, click on the “open in Google” button, and, voila, you have yourself a search of possible job candidates, comprised of people who’ve created profiles on LinkedIn.

You can get more than 100 results, and see “out of network” connections for LinkedIn public profiles.
RecruitIn was created by a London company called Clever Biscuit (“a young company driven by passion and bucket loads of caffeine,” Clever Biscuit says). RecruitIn’s history is explained briefly here.
ERE's Todd Raphael works on ERE's conferences, the news and features on the site, the print publication Journal of Corporate Recruiting Leadership, the ERE daily email newsletter, the ERE awards, and more.      

How to Create the Ideal Social Media Resume

It’s no secret that your tweets and Facebook profile can come back to haunt you during your job hunt. Whatever you type on the internet should be considered as carefully as the words that come out of your mouth. One poorly considered remark can literally cost you your job, and maybe your career — just look at pro baseball manager Ozzie Guillén, who was fired by the Miami Marlins in October over a careless pro-Castro statement he made.

We’ve all heard what NOT to put on Facebook and Twitter over and over; drunken party pictures will not help you get hired at a law firm. In this day and age, it’s probably a good idea to avoid politics and potentially divisive social issues as well. Of course, you can always adjust your privacy settings on Facebook, but then how do you react when your potential new boss sends you a friend request? Do you spend the whole day digging into your timeline to clean up any hint of your wild college days (and subsequent reunions)?
You’re far better off making everything public. If there’s junk to clean out, take the time to do it. From now on, your social media profiles should scream ‘fine upstanding citizen’ at every turn. And if you do still get a little crazy on the weekends, go ahead and adjust your settings so that any photographs must be approved by you before they appear on your profile.

With everything you shouldn’t post out of the way, start thinking about what you do want to convey. Start with what’s on your resume. How can you convey the same list of accomplishments on your personal one sheet in the form of a Google+ or Facebook profile? Don’t overlook the importance of that — in many cases, an employer may actually spend more time examining your Facebook page or Twitter feed then they will looking through your resume. To ensure that what they find only helps your case for a job, look for this checklist of items in your social media profiles:

Pictures of Family

If you’re married and have children, this occurs automatically. Once we settle down, our Facebook profiles are little more than baby pictures and first steps. But if you’re a 20-something fresh out of school, put on a nice shirt and take some happy shots with Mom for your profile. The appearance of a strong emphasis on family can demonstrate to employers that you value close relationships, and that the people who know you best have genuine respect for you.

Highlight Charitable Work

Volunteering can help you get a job. When you’re willing to give your time and effort to a cause you care about, it shows that you’re a hard worker and securing a paycheck isn’t your sole motivation in life. There’s nothing wrong with highlighting your charitable outreach — when you’re helping others, allow that to help you, as well. A photograph of you building a Habitat for Humanity house or a tweet about your work at the local animal shelter can work wonders to demonstrate your community-minded attitude. That’s an asset to any business.

Be Health Minded

Healthy employees save a company money, both on the overall cost of health insurance plans and higher productivity levels (and less sick days). If you’re a runner, get the word out about your progress whittling down your 10K race time. Are you an aspiring yogi? Tweet about the retreat you’re headed to next week. Of course, you don’t want to let any one activity dominate your profile — be fit, happy, and well-rounded.

More Tips and Complete UnderCoverRecruiter Article

Thursday, December 6, 2012

It’s not about me, it’s about you… the 20 questions you need to ask in a job interview


What’s an interview about? It sure feels like it’s about you, but it’s really not.

An interview is actually about how you can help your future boss and future employer succeed. It’s about finding out what their requirements and hopes are and matching up your background and experience with what they need.

Overlooking these basic facts about the interview is all too easy. There’s so much else going on in your work, your life, and in your job search, that you can forget to look at the interview from the interviewer’s point of view. And that’s a shame, because, after all, you need the interviewer to walk away from the interview thoroughly impressed.

With that in mind, I’ve done my twice-a-year update to my collection of “twenty best interview questions” below. My aim here is to arm you with easy-to-ask, revealing-to-answer questions for you to take with you into an interview.

When I ran these questions previously, commenter LBRZ wrote in and said:
I have to thank you! I had an interview yesterday and it went great. When I asked about his leadership style and reward system his face lit up like a christmas tree.
After he answered the question “how can I help you receive your next promotion?”, he began to give me advice on how I should negotiate for a higher starting salary.

And that’s exactly the point, Readers. By asking these questions, which focus on the needs, traits, and preferences of your future boss and future employer, you’re demonstrating that you are somebody who is genuinely interested in their well-being. And the more interest we show in others, the more commitment they show to aiding our cause.

And with that, here are my twenty best questions to ask your interviewer:

1. What’s the biggest change your group has gone through in the last year? Does your group feel like the recession is over and things are getting better, or are things still pretty bleak? What’s the plan to handle either scenario?

2. If I get the job, how do I earn a “gold star” on my performance review? What are the key accomplishments you’d like to see in this role over the next year?

3. What’s your (or my future boss’) leadership style?

4. About which competitor are you most worried?

5. How does sales / operations / technology / marketing / finance work around here? (I.e., groups other than the one you’re interviewing for.)

6. What type of people are successful here? What type of people are not?

7. What’s one thing that’s key to this company’s success that somebody from outside the company wouldn’t know about?

8. How did you get your start in this industry? Why do you stay?

Tips 9-20 and Complete Article