Friday, August 31, 2012

5 Tips to Narrowing Down Your Career Focus on LinkedIn


Here are a few questions for those of you with more than two letters after your name:
  • How many letters do you have after your name that are relevant to what you do now?
  • Are these letters recognizable to the average person?
  • Do you use these credentials to do exactly what you want to do in your career?
  • Was your training academic or was it focused on a specific career or business goal?
  • Did you feel it was necessary to have the certifications and training to do or provide services doing what you love?
  • How many “Add to Cart” trainings have you purchased and never completed or implemented? (You know the ones I mean – they state a value of $499 and are slashed to $59)
  • How much of what you’ve learned through your certifications and training have provided a step by step structure or format to follow for you to feel confident in offering your services to others?
  • Are you still struggling to figure out how to put all your training and education together with clarity and focus?
If any of these questions resonate with you, you are not alone. There are many professionals who do not lack certifications, training, or academics. However, as I have been looking over many LinkedInprofiles over the past several weeks, I’ve noticed a distinct lack of direction and focus even though there does not seem to be a lack education and experience on the profile.
The confusion for me is that there are often more than one industries listed and a lack of clarity with regard to whether they are networking with others in their profession, selling a service or a product, or seeking employment. I had more than one and have since taken the extraneous industry off my profile.
The overall feeling of the profile imparts a lack of enthusiasm, joy or even interest in who they are and/or what they are offering. In many profiles, there is a distinct feeling of Career ADD going on. Are you on LinkedIn now reviewing your profile?
LinkedIn profiles are only one symptom of the confusion pervasive among professionals with many letters, training and education. This is not by any means meant to minimize the time and effort it takes to complete the trainings associated with these letters. However, it does point often to a lack of focus in how they are applied in the real world.
In conversations with professionals, some have told me that they perceive the letters will make them more marketable. Others feel compelled to accrue more and more training to feel worthy, when in fact there continues to be a lack of purpose or direction that actually prevents some from moving forward.  The amount of money some have put into their training and education that will never be used can be staggering.
Here are some tips if any of the above relates to you:
1. For LinkedIn Profiles – start by reading your profile from a neutral reader’s perspective. What are your feelings about this person? Do you know with certainty what is being communicated to the public about you?
2. Then pick one area you want to focus on and clean up any non-related information such as listing a job, experience, or industry that has nothing to do with what you are trying to communicate.
3. Review all the letters you have after your name in your signature line and pick only those that represent who you are and what you love doing. Even if PhD does not relate to doing what you love in your work or with what you are offering as a service, do not include it. Those of us who use services only want to see relevant training and experience – it may seem to offer you credibility, but in truth, it looks like you spent a lot of time on an education that does not relate to your present goals. My own master’s program was as relevant when I got it as it is to what I do today. I’ve had dozens of trainings since then, relate to what I’m doing today.

12 IT Certifications That Deliver Career Advancement

By Richard Hein                   

Certifications play an important part of any IT professional's career, although there will always be some debate on how important. Certifications are, like most things in life: The more you put into them, the more you will get out. While the actual knowledge you gain on the journey is the true reward, certifications also indicate to employers that you take your job seriously and that you are knowledgeable on the respective technology.

With more than 1,700 professional IT certifications running the gamut of IT technologies, knowing which certifications are the most important for your specialty can seem an insurmountable task. To help you meet the challenge, we've sifted through data from Robert Half Technology to narrow your search and bring you a manageable list of the most relevant IT certifications for the remainder of 2012., citing Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data, reports that Q2 2012 jobless rate for IT techs is at 3.6 percent, much lower than our national average. In a competitive market, you've got to do everything you can to distinguish yourself from your peers. Certification is an important part of that process. A recent poll asked users why they chose certification. The number one answer--at 51 percent--was that certification was a way to position themselves for a promotion or potential job.

Knowing Which IT Certification Is Right

Before you jump into a specific certification, there are some important questions that you need to ask yourself about your career goals and objectives:

  • What demographic of IT do you fall into? (Security, Web Development, Programmer and so on)
  • What are your career objectives?
  • What IT career are you most interested in?
  • What type of resources are needed (i.e. money and time)?
  • Will this certification have a significant impact on my career?
Taking the time to think about and document your response to these questions can help solidify your future goals and narrow your list of potential certifications further.

Tip: Once you've identified a role you'd like to advance to, look through Monster, Dice, CareerBuilder and other sites for those positions and see what IT certifications employers are looking for. You may find that on-the-job experience is what employers are searching for in one area of your expertise, so it would be logical to invest your time and money into certification in a different area to further your career goals.

Bonus Tip: You'll find a must-have utility for your IT certification toolbox at GoCertify. The Certification Advisor allows you to plug in your area of expertise, skill level, career goals and more to generate a list of recommended certifications.

If your area of expertise is related to a listed certification's focus and you don't have that certification, you will definitely want to delve into it further. Now without further ado, here are our Top 12 IT Certifications.

1. Project Management Professional (PMP)

Completing the Project Management Professional certification shows employers that you have the necessary skills and resources to get the project done from start to finish, on time and on budget. It's never been more relevant than in today's IT industry where we all have multiple responsibilities. Average salary: $101,000.

2. Certified Information Systems Security Professionals (CISSP)

CISSP is a vendor neutral security certification. People who hold this certification have the skills and knowledge to complete high-level tasks involving architecture, design, management and/or controls that assure the security of business environments.
If you keep up with the news, you've seen all the latest security breaches at Sony, LinkedIn and many others; security is at the top of everyone's list today. To punctuate that the Robert Half Technology Salary Guide reported that 24 percent of the 1,600 polled CIO's stated security as their top concern. The amount of data companies now store can be mind boggling. Breaches cost money, man power and many times credibility. As threats continue to escalate, so will the demand for professionals who can find security holes and ward off the attacking hordes. Average salary: $97,000.

3. Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE)

RHCE is a Linux Red Hat Entperprise Linux certification and demonstrates that the holder has the skills and knowledge to perform the duties of senior system administrator, responsible for Red Hat systems. Deployments and migrations are second nature to an RHCE.
Linux continues to be adopted by more and more companies in an effort to decrease operating costs. Demand is outpacing supply making this one of the hottest Linux certifications. Note: In order to be eligible for this certification you must receive your RHCSA certification. Average salary: $90,000.

4. VMware Certified Professional (VCP)

VCP VMware's first level of certification that focuses squarely on the vSphere virtualization platform. Recipients should have the skills to install, deploy, scale and manage vSphere environments, as well as general virtualization skills.
Virtualization is more popular than ever in today's IT world and with cloud computing-based virtualization becoming more and more common this is sure to be a skillset that will be in demand for the next few years. Average salary: $95,000.

Certifications 5-12 and complete CIO article

Thursday, August 30, 2012

How to Reach Out to Recruiters Using LinkedIn


Planning to reach out to recruiters during your job search, but don’t know how to approach them?
You’re in luck. It’s easier than ever to find recruiters who specialize in your field by using LinkedIn—and even better, they’re often receptive to your queries from the site.
Here are some tips for finding potential recruiter contacts on LinkedIn, as well as the results of an informal recruiter survey conducted on LinkedIn that sheds some light on best practices for approaching these new contacts.
Locating Recruiters in Your Field
The Advanced People Search function, accessible from the Search bar at the top right of most LinkedIn pages, is one of the best tools for job seekers trying to find key contacts. To use the search capability, select People from the dropdown next to the Search box, then click on Advanced.
From the Advanced People Search menu, here’s where you’ll want to perform a simple query on Keywords; for example, a search on “recruiter technology” turned up thousands of names for IT recruiters.
Of course, you can expect to refine your keywords, perhaps adding in an area of specialty to help hone in on the recruiters who seek candidates at your career level.
Sending an Introductory Message
After identifying a pool of key recruiter contacts, you’ll need to craft an introduction that is succinct, professional, and related to your area of specialty – keeping in mind that this note should be tuned specifically to each of your new contacts.
As one person noted in a survey from LinkedIn on recruiter queries, many recruiters are “very receptive” to receiving a note from a candidate, especially one whose experience and career level aligns with their particular area of specialty. Be aware, however, that this note must explain the purpose of your query.
Another recruiting manager noted that a “good approach” includes an explanation of your reasons for the contact and what you’re seeking. It’s not enough to ask if the recruiter is seeking candidates with your background!
Here’s a script for reaching out to a recruiter:
“As an IT auditor engaged in a search for new positions within the Chicago area, I am interested in finding out more about the positions you source. I’ve recently completed an assignment with Ernst & Young, and my intent is to build relationships within the banking community. I welcome any suggestions you might have for me, and as I maintain contact with colleagues in the auditing field, I can also help refer candidates to you. Thank you for your time.”
In this contact, you’ll want to be specific about your skills and fitness for your career goal, allowing the recruiter to see how your qualifications apply to this job type. To put it another way, your message needs to resemble a cover letter.
Often, this first note stimulates dialogue that allows the recruiter to point out job listings from a corporate websites, or to add the job seeker to an internal recruiting database. In addition, some recruiters will help you follow their current sourcing requirements by directing you to their primary method of streaming new job postings (such as a Twitter or RSS feed).

A Little Bird Told Me — How to Use Twitter in Your Job Search

By Ritika Trikha

We took a Bliss Poll recently asking our CareerBliss community “Do you use Twitter as part of your job search?”

Of the more than 500 people who have taken the poll, nearly half said “I have no idea how to use Twitter for job searching,” and 41 percent said “No, Twitter is totally useless in my job search.”
OK, OK — we understand why skeptics might raise an eyebrow and roll their eyes at using the same forum as hey-look-at-me celebrities – like Kim Kardashian — who share an obscene number of self-portraits.

But Twitter is so much more than that. (And you don’t have to follow Kim Kardashian.)
“Twitter is one of the most powerful conversational networking platforms out there that make it easy for individuals to keep track of others within the industry, employers, and industry news publications,” says Jonathan Nafarrete, director of social outreach at BLITZ Agency.
Here’s how you can use Twitter as a job searching tool:

1. Find Relevant, Helpful Tweeps
Professionals at the top of your field are Tweeting cool, valuable information right now—and you’re missing it! The easiest way to scope out credible people that are most relevant to you is by searching similar job titles and industries. So, if you’re looking for a finance job, search “finance.” Then, on the left hand side, click “people” to find everyone who has listed “finance” in their bio.
After you add your favorite folks, take a look at who they’re following to get leads on more interesting people. Also, check out 10 Career Experts You Need to Follow on Twitter & 10 Internship Experts to Follow on Twitter to fill your feed with valuable career advice. Oh and @CareerBliss, of course!

2. Use Hashtags to Find What You Need
It’s not about simply adding a #hashtag #to #everything #you #type. It’s about using hashtags that are actually searched a lot. Here are some job searching hashtags that can pull up valuable information for any job seeker:

3. Jump into a Twitter Chat
Since everything happens in real-time, Twitter is a great way to conduct live conversations with people you might never be able to otherwise. Twitter Chats are a live, Q&A session that typically discuss specific niche, industry issues.
There are Twitter Chats for just about everything under the sun: From career advice to project management.
Try to Google and look for Twitter chats that are relevant to your area of expertise. Usually, one moderator asks questions (Q1, Q2, Q3) and any Tweeps can answer (A1, A2, A3). It’s usually an hour-long discussion once a week. Check out 4 Twitter Chats Every Job Seeker Should Know.

Tips 4,5, and complete CareerBliss artcle

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Certified Linkedin Recruiter Coach

I'm excited to find out I was one of the first five people to become a Certified Linkedin Recruiter Coach.

Thank you to my team who helped to make it happen and thanks to Linkedin for including me in the rollout of this new program.

Connect With Me


5 Essential Tips To Make Your Social Profiles Resume-Ready

No matter your state of employment, even when you’re not actively in search of a job, your resume needs to stay in tip-top shape. That resume isn’t just on paper, it’s online too — because companies are increasingly more likely to peruse your profiles, your social media accounts are the true first impression.

Whether you’re content in your current position or the owner of your own business, having an accurate and professional social presence will allow you to develop your brand, get the attention of prospective employers and clients, and maintain your reputation within your industry. Here’s how to do so:

  • Nail your bio. Do you know how to describe who you are and what you do in 140 characters or less? That’s what Twitter asks of you. Utilize keywords, get to the root of what you do, demonstrate your passion and area of expertise, and express how you provide value. From the witty to the informative, make sure you’re standing out and showcasing your personality. On LinkedIn, your professional headline is just as important to your personal branding. Make sure that it says more than just your current job title; express your full competency.
  • Regularly update vital information. If your Twitter bio hasn’t changed since you created your account two years ago, or you haven’t looked at your LinkedIn profile since college, it may be time to refresh. You don’t have to constantly update the answer to Facebook’s question, “What’s on your mind?” — nor should you — but you should make sure you’re staying on top of life changes, keeping job descriptions current and sharing relevant content. Check in on your social networking accounts periodically to take a pulse on how they’re reflecting you as a professional and as a personal brand. You might want to use a tool like Reppler to help evaluate your social presence under a professional lens.
  • Shamelessly post and pin. It does you no good to shy away from sharing your work online. Pin your resume. Post your portfolio on your Tumblr. Don’t miss an opportunity to flaunt your skills, interests, or point of view. Potential clients, employers, and industry experts are on the lookout for new talent and thought leaders.

  • Tips 4-5 and Complete Forbes Article

    How to Network with VIPs on LinkedIn

    Lindsey Pollak

    One of the first pieces of advice I always give to job seekers is to network with the people you already know – friends, family, neighbors, former colleagues and fellow college alumni. These people are valuable members of your LinkedIn network and, ideally, will be happy to introduce you to potentially helpful contacts in their LinkedIn networks.

    However, there are some instances where you’ll want to reach out to people who are not at all connected to your existing network and are, in your estimation, Very Important People. Your VIPs may include recruiters, hiring managers, senior executives at prospective employers or “stars” in your industry.

    If you’re ready to network several rungs up the career ladder, here are some tips:

    1. Ensure that your profile makes a great first impression. VIPs are busy people, so if they receive a LinkedIn message from you and decide to check out your LinkedIn profile, chances are they’ll only spend a few seconds reviewing it. This means your profile has to be stellar.

    First, craft a profile headline that is very specific and sells your skills and uniqueness, such as “Deadline-driven copywriter with 10+ years of experience at top-tier ad agencies.” Next, make sure your profile is 100% complete so a potential employer can quickly understand your education, experience and key skills. Finally, quadruple check your profile for typos, grammar mistakes or “red flags” such as outdated certifications or unexplained gaps in your experience.

    2. Do your research on each VIP. Before reaching out to anyone, but particularly to a VIP, thoroughly review the person’s LinkedIn profile. Take note of anything you have in common with this person, any recent changes in his or her employment or any recent status updates that might give you something to mention in your outreach. Doing your homework will increase your confidence and will ensure that you don’t make any big mistakes (such as asking the person what it’s like to work at a company he just left).

    3. Write a “must-open” InMail subject line. If you have no connections in common with this VIP (and, therefore, cannot ask for an introduction from someone in your network), you will need to reach out by using an InMail credit (part of the Job Seeker Premium account upgrade). Since the VIP will not recognize your name, you must write a subject line that compels the person to open your message. Here are a few suggestions:
    • Mention something you have in common, such as an alma mater, hometown, professional association membership or personal interest. For instance, if you recently attended the same event as the person, you might write, “Question from fellow attendee of recent lumber expo in Chicago.”
    • Offer information. If after reading a VIP’s LinkedIn profile you come across an article the person might want to read or an event the person might want to attend, this information could be the key to connecting. For instance, your subject line might read, “Thought you might enjoy this article on special education in Africa.” (Just be sure it’s not a commonly known article or that the person hasn’t shared it on her own LinkedIn status!)
    • Answer a specific request. If the VIP is a recruiter or executive who has specifically mentioned a job opening, then be clear that you are responding to that opportunity. For example, “Candidate for sales manager position you mentioned on WXXX radio this morning.” In this case, there’s no need to beat around the bush!

    Tuesday, August 28, 2012

    4 Questions Great Candidates Ask

    Be honest. Raise your hand if you feel the part of the job interview where you ask the candidate, "Do you have any questions for me?" is almost always a waste of time.

    Thought so.

    The problem is most candidates don't actually care about your answers; they just hope to make themselves look good by asking "smart" questions. To them, what they ask is more important than how you answer.

    Great candidates ask questions they want answered because they're evaluating you, your company--and whether they really want to work for you.

    Here are five questions great candidates ask:

    What do you expect me to accomplish in the first 60 to 90 days?
    Great candidates want to hit the ground running. They don't want to spend weeks or months "getting to know the organization."
    They want to make a difference--right away.

    What are the common attributes of your top performers?
    Great candidates also want to be great long-term employees. Every organization is different, and so are the key qualities of top performers in those organizations.
    Maybe your top performers work longer hours. Maybe creativity is more important than methodology. Maybe constantly landing new customers in new markets is more important than building long-term customer relationships. Maybe it's a willingness to spend the same amount of time educating an entry-level customer as helping an enthusiast who wants high-end equipment.
    Great candidates want to know, because 1) they want to know if they fit, and 2) if they do fit, they want to be a top performer.

    What are a few things that really drive results for the company?
    Employees are investments, and every employee should generate a positive return on his or her salary. (Otherwise why are they on the payroll?)

    In every job some activities make a bigger difference than others. You need your HR folks to fill job openings... but what you really want is for HR to find the right candidates because that results in higher retention rates, lower training costs, and better overall productivity.

    You need your service techs to perform effective repairs... but what you really want is for those techs to identify ways to solve problems and provide other benefits--in short, to generate additional sales.

    Great candidates want to know what truly makes a difference. They know helping the company succeed means they succeed as well.

    Questions 4,5, and complete Inc. article

    Why to use LinkedIn while employed

    Many people make the mistake of thinking that LinkedIn ( — the world's largest professional network) is only for people looking for a job. It actually is a terrific resource for employed people.

    Here are a few reasons why:

    1. Having a strong LinkedIn profile and a sizable network on the site can make you appear as a more successful and qualified employee to your current supervisors and coworkers. It also shows your colleagues that you get 'social media" and new technologies.

    2. By listing your company as your current employer in your LinkedIn profile and by interacting professionally with others through the site, you personify your company's brand in a positive way. Such a strong online presence will also impress potential customers and business partners with whom you connect on LinkedIn.

    3. By joining LinkedIn groups, you can learn a tremendous amount of valuable information related to your position, field or industry through articles posted on group discussion boards.

    For example, I joined several LinkedIn groups involving social media to learn how to use Twitter, Facebook and other social networking sites. I joined LinkedIn fundraising groups to learn how to generate more donations for a nonprofit organization. LinkedIn features nearly 1.4 million different topical groups so there are sure to be groups that can help you strengthen your professional abilities and increase your business knowledge. You can also join groups associated with your company, college, volunteer organizations, local clubs, and national associations, which can help you appear more active and engaged in your company and community.

    Plus, by being in groups with thought leaders in your industry or field, you can learn who the leaders are, become familiar with their viewpoints, correspond with them via the group discussion boards, and invite them to connect to strengthen the relationship.

    Tips 4-6 and complete article

    Monday, August 27, 2012

    Why I Look at LinkedIn before Looking at Your Resume

    Posted By: Kelsey Meyer

    LinkedIn is the new résumé. If you’re applying for a job and you send me a résumé via email, I’m going to do a Google search of your name before I even download the attached résumé. The reason I do this is because I trust your online professional brand more than I trust your perfectly formatted, proofread, and scented résumé, and for our professional branding company, how you present yourself online is important.

    LinkedIn shows me everything I need to decide whether or not I want to invite you in for an interview. Here’s an overview of what I look for in the different sections of LinkedIn, and what each tells me about you as a potential employee:

    You have a full and active LinkedIn account.

    This shows me that you understand new technology (even though LinkedIn isn’t really that new) and that you are actively positioning yourself as a professional in the online space.

    Your LinkedIn profile photo is not of you drinking/doing illegal activities.
    Again, this shows your professionalism. Leave the boozed-up photos for Facebook, or just leave them out altogether.

    You have relevant experience and descriptions of what you did at each job.
    This is basically the “meat” of your résumé. It tells me what you’ve done before, how long you did it, and what you learned from it that could potentially add value to my company. This is one area where LinkedIn is way more effective than a résumé. I can actually click through and read about the company from your profile. I can see who else works there and contact them about you – rather than simply contact your references, who are obviously people guaranteed to say nice things.

    You have Organizations/Associations/Publications and Groups listed on your profile.
    All of these sections accomplish the same goal: They show me if you are passionate enough about your field to get involved in organizations, write for publications, and network with other individuals. I like seeing people who are involved in a few LinkedIn groups, have published a few articles, and are actively engaged in different associations. It tells me that they live their professional brand longer than the 8-to-5 most jobs require.

    You have many solid recommendations. - Read about recommendations and the complete article

    Your Attitude is Key to Your Job Search


    It’s the one thing out of the entire process you can control. That’s what makes your attitude vitally important in the job search. You can’t control when someone is going to call you back, or if the person liked you, or what the economy is going to do, but you can control your attitude and how you conduct yourself throughout the process.

    Battling Depression

    The job search process inherently comes with ups and downs — moments of excitement and anticipation blended with feeling defeated and beaten down. It’s crucial that job seekers keep the negativity of the process from affecting their attitudes. If negativity starts seeping in and you feel defeated and hopeless, the hiring manager will see and sense the baggage, and will likely pass. They want someone who is positive and upbeat; someone who says, “Give me the ball and let me run through the line.”

    While you’re in job search mode, think about the way you ask for help, whether it’s from friends, work acquaintances or potential employers. Stay away from, “I know you don’t have time for me …” and instead say, “I have a lot to offer and would love to be able to share what I know and what I can do.” If you are sitting in the room anticipating the end of the play before the first act, it can be a self-fulfilling prophecy. Even when you’re frustrated, you can ensure it doesn’t come off as a liability — that’s when you pump yourself up, keeping yourself from going down the negative road.

    Your Attitude Can Persuade Your Potential Employer

    Conversely, a great attitude can make you stand out from all the candidates for a job opening. If you want to impress your potential employer, think carefully about the possible things going on in his or her work life that cause stress and anxiety. Talk about how you can go into that job and make things easier and better for the manager. Think, “I’m here to lighten your burden and load.”
    Accentuate your value at all times. Talk about demonstrated skill sets, not just, “I’m a good guy.” Instead, “I’m a good manager of people, I’m a good problem solver, I’ve been ahead of quota every year.” And in talking about past jobs, never criticize anything or anyone. Maybe you were let go, and that is emotional. But that shouldn’t bleed into your presentation — it’s negativity that the hiring manager doesn’t want to deal with. Your attitude and story need to always come across with positivity and confidence.
    How do you impress a hiring manger with your attitude? Here’s a few phrases that can be used as mantras as you navigate the job search. You might try repeating these to yourself if you become frustrated, or perhaps write some of your own that are personal to you.

    Read the phrases and the complete Mashable article

    Dave Sanford is the Executive Vice President, Client Relations at Winter, Wyman. Dave has been helping clients as they set their recruiting and hiring strategy for over twenty years. To learn more about Dave and how to leverage Winter, Wyman for your business visit

    Friday, August 24, 2012

    Recruiters: What the new LinkedIn means to you

    LinkedIn are on a constant path of change. Jeff Weiner, CEO of the professional networking giant describes this as a state of constant beta. The long term aims of the channel are shrouded in secrecy, but if you keep up with the changes it is easy to see a pattern developing. In the last quarters financial results Weiner commented that the company had made significant investments in increasing their sales team and in developing product. Each time I log in, something looks different or has moved to a different position on the screen. Whilst these changes might seem cosmetic, they are changing the way users are interacting with the platform, and this means recruiters need to be rethinking their LinkedIn strategy.
    The trend over time was for using LinkedIn from outside of the channel, with users relying on e-mail and third party applications to interact and keep up. At one time the average user only visited the channel 1.9 times a month. Most notably, engagement levels were low, and the discussion was all around whether LinkedIn was a social channel at all. What is interesting to note is that since the recent redesign of the home page engagement is now at a record level for the channel because users are driven to the home page, and the home page now contains a stream for updates which increases engagement.
    One of the other new features enables users to determine which updates get displayed on their home page. The default is for all updates in time sequence, with a refresh button at the top of the stream to show the number of updates since you logged in to the channel. The display options are:
    The most popular updates from your connections (what constitutes popular is explained below this list.)
    The latest updates.
    >LinkedIn Today
    Users can customise this according to what topics they want to follow. This is very similar to the way the Mashable social app enables users to choose what content they want to follow by category.
    Based on your personal network.
    What is being shared by your network displayed by time line
    Updates from your connections in the groups that you share
    Changes to the profiles of your connections. This is quite a neat way to keep up to date with what is happening from your connections in one place, from changes to job title, address etc to who is launching a LinkedIn ad campaign.
    The applications added to profiles by your connections.
    Changes to company profiles by your network, recommendations and updates.
    Another neat feature that lets you see all the questions asked and answers given by your network. You can answer this question from this screen or comment, like or share, a great way to engage with your connections when they are reaching out for help or advice.
    >Your Updates
    Your personal updates including comments,likes and shares.
    This enables users to determine what type of updates they choose to see or hide, and how many updates they want to see on their home page. If a user is not interested in seeing jobs you may be interested in they can choose to hide them.

    20 Tips To Be A Job Hunt Ace

    Finding for a new job takes time, patience, energy, focus, and more. Devote yourself to your success, and you will be unstoppable.

    Follow these tips to become a Job Hunt Ace.

    1: Know what you're looking for.

    2: Focus your efforts on what you want.

    3: Set goals, and create a plan.

    4: Make weekly and daily to-do lists.

    5: Get feedback on your resume, cover letter, portfolio, work samples, etc.

    6: Update your LinkedIn profile, join groups, and follow relevant people and companies on Twitter.

    7: Hunt -- actively search -- for job opportunities.

    8: Apply to relevant, posted positions.

    9: Reach out to organizations without vacant job posts.

    I bolded #8 as I see a lot of people apply to jobs that are not relevant.  They were an inventory counter for The Juice Stand and they applied for a Manger position at a store that does $25 million+ a year in sales, or they applied to Director of Worldwide logistics.  Doing this will make it look like the candidate is not aware of the scope of the jobs that they have applied for and will make it harder for them to be considered for the openings that could be a match.

    Thursday, August 23, 2012

    12 Ways to Improve your LinkedIn SEO and Marketability

    If you have not evaluated the search engine optimization (SEO) of your LinkedIn profile, you should. Some 98 percent of recruiters say they use LinkedIn to find job candidates, compared to 33 percent who use Facebook, according to a survey from Bullhorn Reach. Use the strategies below to improve recruiters’ ability to find and view your profile.
    1. Focus on keywords. Similar to Google, LinkedIn’s search engine looks for keywords in your headline, summary, specialties and current position. If you are editing your profile and click on a skill or expertise in the “Skills and Expertise” section, you can also quantify your years of experience in that area. Every skill you add makes you easier to find. You can identify buzz words by reviewing the textbooks, journals, blogs and websites of the professional associations in your field. Position descriptions will also provide clues.
    2. Use the email settings. This permits you be notified immediately of invitations and opportunities. To ensure that these settings are in place, go to settings > account > add & change email address.
    3. Create an effective headline. Your headline is the text that immediately appears below your name. Consider this your slogan or tagline. People often include their current title, but you can use other techniques to captivate your readers and enhance your SEO. Emphasize deliverables. What do you have to offer an organization? What problems can you solve? Focus on your unique qualifications or attributes that make you irreplaceable. This will differentiate you and communicate the value that you have to offer. Here are a few examples suggested bySuzanne Vara:
      • Gardening Consultant. Finding the right vegetables to plant for your soil & climate.
      • Social Media Consulting. Free profile analysis to leverage brand and maximize your exposure.
      • Forging business relationships internationally; supply chain management consulting.
      • Blog Consultant. Advising & educating new bloggers how to write and promote a blog to build an online community and generate sales.
      • Helping my clients achieve success through strategic, results-based B2B marketing.
    4. Link to your website. Select “Other” for blogs and company websites so you can name it. This, too, improves your SEO because Google views this as an anchor text.
    5. Claim your personal URL. LinkedIn defaults to a long and incomprehensible URL. You can elect to customize one instead, which you can then use on your resume or email signature. It defeats the purpose of LinkedIn and your SEO if you do not make the information public. To publish your profile, go to Edit > Public Profile > Your URL. Then type the text that you prefer.
    6. Market yourself. Be selective of the positions or details you include in your “experience” section. Spend some time crafting a well written summary that conveys your enthusiasm and most noteworthy qualifications. Include quantitative results and accomplishments, instead of just activities.
    7. Tips 7 - 12 and complete article

    13 Tips To Secure a Job Interview: A Baker's Dozen for Today's Job Seeker

    Begin with Character and Integrity.

    Unethical behavior is alive and well. In my own case, as a recruiter or hiring manager, I have witnessed deplorable behavior and practices by those senior to me, those who should have known better or didn't really care. We, as individuals, must look within ourselves and follow leaders with a proven track record and either pattern ourselves after them or build our own ethical blueprint -- one that becomes clearly evident by our own actions, by the reputation we build over time, and by the questions we ask and those we answer truthfully, as well as our own experiences and how we represent or share them.

    Ethics and proving character can be a difficult hurdle when it comes to securing job interviews, let alone a new job. I have been a recruiter for years and have been lucky enough to work for several organizations that put character first. I have never invited any jobseeker in for an onsite interview until I was able to determine some semblance of "character" during a phone interview or as the result of a personal referral. If a candidate, initially, doesn't fit in with the culture of the company during this early stage of the hiring process, chances are they never will. And if it can be ascertained that the applicant is even the slightest bit sycophantic, they will never pass an interview with the hiring manager or a direct supervisor. 

    Over the years, I have compiled a list of tips to aid jobseekers in showing their best face, letting the light of their character shine through loud and clear. It is my hope that with this modest list, a general understanding of how a recruiter or hiring manager thinks will result.

    1. Your IEI Quotient. Whenever possible, indicate on your resumé that you hold three vitally important characteristics: Intelligence, Energy and Integrity. Employers seek these in every applicant, Every. Single. One. These three qualities show hire-ability. Simply add an instance which demonstrates your IEI under your most recent job or project -- this could even be a school-based project for new jobseekers and recent grads

    2. An LOR. Include a Letter of Recommendation with your cover letter from a previous colleague or supervisor that simply attests to your possession of the above three qualities. Should a previous employer indicate they would hire you again, if given the opportunity? All the better.

    3. Establish Your Interest. If you are invited in for an on-site, face-to-face interview, prove your intelligence and interest with a strong understanding of the position and the company, itself. Do the online research necessary, make some calls to contacts or past employees who may have valuable insight or could directly refer you.

    4. Résumé Review. PLEASE have your resumé reviewed by a recruiter and several friends who will give you the critical feedback you need -- maybe there is something key missing or misrepresented that you are just too close to see.

    5. Make it Pop. This you should know: A good recruiter will be able to ascertain within the first 10-15 seconds of opening your resumé or application whether or not you will even get a call or second look. Make something stand out at the top of the resumé or within the first paragraph of your cover letter.

    6. Avoid Buzz Words. Be very careful when using cliché buzz words of the day -- thought leader, expert, guru, etc. -- these are an instant turn-off to most recruiters and most recruiters will stop reading and immediately dismiss your application/ resumé.

    Wednesday, August 22, 2012

    How to Interpret Your LinkedIn Profile Visitor Stats on a Free Account


    Scroll down the sidebar of your LinkedIn Home Page, and you’ll eventually notice the blurb that asks “Who’s Viewed Your Profile?” If you click on it, you’ll see a page entitled Profile Stats Pro designed to show you other users that have looked at your information.
    To get the most out of Profile Stats, change LinkedIn Profile Settings (accessible by hovering the mouse near your name at the top to access and click on Settings) to allow others to see your identifying information when you review their profiles. Click on “Select what others see when you’ve viewed their profile” and choose Your Name and Headline (recommended) to enable this feature. This will make your activity visible—but you gain the benefit of being able to see who is surfing for you by doing so.
    Paid or fee-based upgrades in a LinkedIn Profile will also offer you analytics in the form of Top Search Keywords, but the Free version, which we’ll cover here, show only the users themselves.
    Here are ways to categorize the users who view your Profile (no matter what your paid level of LinkedIn), along with their possible intent:
    HR Professionals or Recruiters.
    If you’re finding these users among your Profile Stats, then congratulate yourself for providing sufficient information for a strong digital identity.
    Your Profile may be drawing in recruiters or HR reps if they find something in it that they need, such as a particular skill or past job experience.
    However, you’ll undoubtedly notice that some of the users who view your Profile as listed as Anonymous LinkedIn User, which means that they’ve protected their name, headline, occupation, and industry from view (using one of the Settings described above).
    It’s much more likely that recruiters and HR professionals would fall into this category, which allows them to check you out without revealing their identity.
    Current Co-Workers or Managers.
    Colleagues at your current place of employment will often check out a colleague’s LinkedIn Profile to see if anything has changed, which can lead them to assume that you’re job hunting.
    Public Relations Manager or Human Resource personnel often browse LinkedIn Profiles to control the type of information that is broadcast online about the company—as well as to ascertain your intent in looking for another job.
    Still others may want to copy your Profile content, especially if they hold a similar position. Many people are confused about LinkedIn Profile writing, and look to others’ information as a template for their own data.

    10 Tips for Job Seekers in the Digital Era


    What does it take to land your dream job? In this digital era, job candidates have a plethora of tools at their disposal to help them ace the interview, including advice websites, FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn.
    But how exactly should someone use these to their advantage? Here are ten tips for landing the gig of your dreams.

    1. Research, Research, Research

    A likely first question any interviewer will ask is, “what does our company do?” This seems like an obvious one, but you’d be surprised at the number of people that have no clue. If you’re not prepared to discuss the company, they probably don’t want you.
    Take the time to know the company inside and out. Research what they do, follow their social-media pages, and understand the industry and the competitors. Basically, have the company’s elevator pitch down pat. To be safe, practice it on a friend.

    2. Connect Before the Interview

    As you’re researching the company on their social media pages make sure to like some of their posts, leave a comment or two, and re-tweet what you find interesting. The reality is that you never know who might be watching. Many recruiters prefer finding talent via Facebook and LinkedIn rather than through a job site like Monster.
    Does the company sponsor or organize any events? If so, show up at some of them and meet the representatives from the company. They can serve as a good “in” to the people who are hiring. If possible, connect with this person on LinkedIn afterwards.

    3. Build Your Social Presence

    Are you popular in the social sphere? Do you blog, Yelp, and have a ton of friends on Facebook and followers on Twitter? If so, great. You want to continue to build your social presence. If you haven’t flexed your social muscles yet, then you better get going! This is a critical way that recruiters assess how passionate you are about digital.

    4. Be Prepared

    Find out how the interview will be structured and plan accordingly. Determine who your interviewers will be, find out as much about them as possible, and then impress them with your knowledge.
    Also, make sure you ask questions. Questions that haven’t been thought through very well leave a bad impression. Write questions down ahead of time and be precise, but don’t overdo it.
    Another big item is the company’s dress code. Check out their Facebook page, look for photos in the news. People want to see how you assimilate into a culture. That said, always dress one step up from the code.

    5. Arrive Early

    Arrive at least fifteen minutes ahead of the scheduled start time. The interviewers are scheduling their days around you so be ready to go. If you are going to be late, it better be for an excellent reason. Call and let the person who is waiting for you know.

    Tuesday, August 21, 2012

    How to Effectively Use LinkedIn in Just 15-30 Minutes a Day

    Whenever I present on the topic of LinkedIn marketing inevitably the question comes up: “How much time should I spend on LinkedIn?” While there is no black and white answer, in general, you should be able to effectively use LinkedIn about 15-30 minutes a day.  
    Now, there are caveats. If you’re a job seeker or recruiter, then obviously you should be spending more time. But, if you are using it to market your business, or to keep your personal and professional brand in the forefront of your LinkedIn network, then it’s a great start.

    The LinkedIn System
    Is there a “secret sauce” to LinkedIn marketing? Well, as a LinkedIn marketing consultant I’d be crazy to say no, but I do believe there are a few simple things you can do every day to make LinkedIn work for you and your business.
    My family and colleagues will attest to the fact that I’m not very systematic. As a matter of fact I have been compared to Dug – the dog in the movie Up! – Squirrel!
    But, I have a system for using LinkedIn and most of the time I stick to it. You should be able to do the same thing, by following these steps:

    1. Use the Homepage as your LinkedIn HQ
    One of the time wasting traps that LinkedIn users fall into is the email notification system. If you set up your account so you get an email for every invitation, every group discussion, every status update, you will spend an inordinate amount of time on LinkedIn.
    Go to your account settings and set it up so you get “Web Only” notifications. This will cause you to be more disciplined in your use of LinkedIn – and make you log on to the LinkedIn Homepage to access your notifications.
    By doing it this way, you have a set place to go during the 15-30 minutes you spend on LinkedIn – a headquarters if you will for all of your activity.

    2. When possible, log on the same time each day
    When I work with companies on how to use LinkedIn, I always recommend that they log on to LinkedIn at the same time each day – or twice a day depending on your activity on the network.
    For most, it’s once in the morning and once in the evening. But your routine will depend on your schedule and your workload. Notice I said routine. If nothing else, making LinkedIn a routine will cut down on the amount of time you spend on the network, and make the time you do spend on LinkedIn more efficient.

    3. Start with a Status Update – Say hello! to your LinkedIn network
    I’ve mentioned in previous columns the Status Update on LinkedIn and what a great marketing tool it is for B2B and B2C firms. Use it daily and what how your reach increases.
    When you first log on to LinkedIn – post an update for the morning. You can always have them written out in advance (as is the case with company news or announcements) or link to a particular article you find helpful to your customers and network.
    Make the Status Update a way of saying “hello!” to your network and be consistent – post it at the same time every day – or every other day. Soon, people will expect to see your LinkedIn status.  It’s a great way to promote your brand.

    Your Post-50 Job Search: An Argument for Optimism

    The statistics can be frightening for older job applicants: lengthy search times, limited opportunities, and the unspoken but ever-present reality of age discrimination. So give these unfortunate conditions, how could optimism possibly play a role in one's job search? Actually, it does, and this role is a major one. In fact, an optimistic, positive attitude is perhaps the greatest factor that will determine your chances for success.

    Anger, resentment and depression -- understandable as these feelings may be -- are a giant turn off to networking contacts and, more importantly, to potential employers. In fact, I can pretty much predict which job seekers will find work and which ones won't, solely based on the attitudes they express. For those who believe they can't and won't find a job simply because of their age -- they're right. This negativity will show and eliminate them from the candidate pool.

    Therefore, how can you be realistic about the ups and downs of a job search today, yet maintain a positive outlook as you move forward? Here are four tips that will help you do just that:

    #1 Take care of your physical health. A job search takes vigor and stamina, plus you'll need to make a positive impression at every opportunity -- and that takes energy. Older applicants have to work even harder at this. So make certain to exercise regularly, get sufficient sleep, eat nourishing foods and keep to your general routine as much as possible.

    #2 Refresh your skill sets. In my latest post, I listed several low-fee and free sites where you can update your technical skills. Many libraries also offer sites such as Universal Class where you can take a number of classes for free by just entering your library card number. Also check out local community colleges, adult education and community centers for low-fee classes in areas that are of interest to you and which will support your career direction.

    Then create a list of the skills you bring in each of the three skill areas:

    • Your knowledge-based skills -- those that relate specifically to your line of work, including any training or formal education you've had.

    • Your personal traits and strengths -- the qualities that represent your added value as a unique individual.

    • Your transferable skills -- your broad-based skills (such as organizing and coordinating) that will transfer from one arena to another.

    Also write out several examples of how you've used these skills to make a difference: saved time or money, increased profits, turned around a disgruntled client, etc. And remember that mature applicants generally bring greater proficiency in such skill areas as people management, problem solving, leadership and decision-making skills.

    Such examples require thought and effort because you'll be drawing on these statements throughout your resume, while networking, and during your job interviews. Therefore you'll want to constantly refine and add to your list of accomplishments. And better yet, you'll find that focusing on the skills you've mastered and the contributions you've made will prove an ego-boosting activity that will help you maintain a positive outlook.

    Tips 3, 4, and job sites specific to 50+

    Monday, August 20, 2012

    LinkedIn: The Professional Playground For Professional Connections

    There are so many tangible examples of how online networking, especially LinkedIn can, has and does open doors and connections, not only for me but many others I know who are using it with very good results.

    Very good results come from not only understanding how it works technically, but why it works. LinkedIn is a professional platform — not a social platform.  That’s important to know so you use it right and get the best results.

    People connecting with each other, making referrals, introductions and recommendations are nothing new really in business. The difference today is how BIG the networking world has become with the web and social media. This is why LinkedIn used strategically can help you make  those smart, qualified connections.

    LinkedIn is the professional playground for professional connections. If you seriously want to engage the professional community and their decision makers, then LinkedIn is THE place to play. LinkedIn profiles are now hybrids of resumes, websites, Facebook and blog pages. It’s the most complete presentation of who you are and what you are up to … professionally. I send people to LinkedIn first!

    Here are 7 benefits of LinkedIn that professionals should take advantage of:
    • Make smart, right connections.  Only the serious apply here. This is where the professional community engages, interacts, connects and refers. Start your process on LinkedIn if you want to get a company or person to notice you. Develop your profile, put up a professional head shot, link your blog, and post good content as often as you can and respond to other people’s posts.
    • Who do you want to meet?  Make a target list of who you want to meet-companies and people. Make LinkedIn a prospecting, research and engagement tool.   Use the information you gather to send thoughtful, smart messages.
    • Who do you want to meet you? This is where “mutual magnetism” works both ways. There are people we all want to meet for the value they bring to us, but there is value in what you bring to others too. Use your connections, wisdom, experience and personality to both meet people and initiate people meeting you. Develop your profile and keep it up to date!

    Crazy Social Media Recruitment Techniques: Do They Work?

    At one time, social media recruiting was a new and daring phenomenon. Now, at least 90 percent of recruiters use social media in the hiring process to find great candidates.

    Some companies have even taken social recruiting out on a limb. Instead of using the social platform merely to engage with talent and promote openings, these companies are coming up with some truly out-of-the-box ways to attract talent.

    Using skills-based contests to evaluate candidates might be smart, even if it comes in an unconventional package. As noted in a recent Forbes piece, a study by the University of California, Berkeley found that knowledge doubles every two years, and sometimes even every six months. The qualifications on your candidate’s resume might not be as impressive as their current knowledge is today, and contests could help you find a great hidden gem.

    But the question remains: how effective are these creative social media recruitment techniques? Can you really find a great candidate from playing a video game, watching a video, or drawing a picture?
    Here are some new ways companies have utilized social media to hire and whether these ideas are genius or madness.

    Playing video games

    You might have heard about watching video resumes to scout talent, but how about using a very different form of video to test candidates?

    It might not seem like a video game could tell you all that much about a job applicant, but Israeli company Saatchi & Saatchi would disagree. The company uploaded a video on YouTube asking interested applicants to fire up popular PC game Diablo 3. Applicants would spend a half hour playing the game with the company’s CEO, showing off their creative skills and ability to cooperate.

    Takeaway: For a programming job, asking applicants to play against the CEO for an interview opportunity is an interesting idea. The company is clearly looking for a creative, plugged-in applicant. However, limiting the search only to those interested or knowledgeable in one particular gaming platform means the company is potentially losing out on a whole host of other talented candidates.

    Want an internship? Draw something

    If you’ve wasted hours playing the picture game Draw Something on your iPhone, you might be in luck.

    Muse, an advertising agency in Amsterdam, decided to use Draw Something to find what they called “drawesome” interns. Intern candidates would log on to the social gaming service and send their best creative drawing to the company. Then the candidates with the agencies favorite drawings would have a chance at nabbing an internship.

    Takeaway: The logic behind this interesting application technique is that clear messages are vital to successful advertising. Whether a candidate is drawing a picture of a pony or Justin Bieber, it’s important they can convey their message both creatively and clearly.
    It also helps determine whether or not a candidate would be a good fit for company culture. Despite the fun premise, however, drawing skills don’t tell you much about a candidate’s technical abilities or communication skills. It’s an interesting first step when hiring for a creative position, but a traditional resume or LinkedIn profile will still be necessary.

    Blogging for the job - Read more on Blogging for the job and the complete article

    Friday, August 17, 2012

    Why Your Employer Brand Matters

    Sam Gager and Dina Medeiros |

    New LinkedIn research shows employer branding investment worth every penny

    When you recognize a company logo or hear a familiar ad jingle, it instantly brings to mind a brand that usually holds some meaning for you. For decades, traditional marketing departments have been creating campaigns to connect you with their brands.

    Meanwhile, the lines between recruiting and marketing have continued to blur. The adoption of some recruiting strategies more commonly seen in marketing departments has become standard practice in many organizations. At the center of these efforts is employer branding – a term that has been in usage for about 20 years, and that has recently become one of the hottest concerns for talent acquisition leaders.

    LinkedIn’s Hiring Solutions Insights team took a deep dive to understand the impact of company brand and employer brand on job consideration. In March of this year we surveyed over 7,000 LinkedIn members worldwide. Some results were what you would expect; others took us by surprise.

    Key Findings:
    1.    A strong overall company brand certainly helps with attracting talent. It stands to reason that if people admire your brand, they’re more likely to be aware of your company as an employer and potentially think it would be a good place to work.

    2.    Overall brand impacts job consideration, though not as much as you might think. Thinking favorably of a company isn’t the same as genuinely wanting to work there.

    3.    A strong employer brand – as indicated by an individual having a positive impression of your company as a place to work – is twice as likely to be linked to job consideration as a strong company brand.

    4.     A strong employer brand is especially critical for attracting more junior employees, candidates from younger demographics, and those outside the US. Among certain key audiences, employer brand isalmost three times as likely to be tied to genuinely wanting to work for a company as is company brand.
    The bottom line: regardless of how well known and regarded your company’s brand is, employer brand is a key driver of job consideration. How are you investing in developing, distributing and measuring yours?
    For more details – and if you’re building the case to increase your employer branding budget – download ourfree whitepaper.