Friday, August 30, 2013

7 Ways to Make LinkedIn Help You Find A Job

Make LinkedIn Help You Find A Job

Career experts agree that LinkedIn is an essential job search tool. Not only can you instantly get the word out to hundreds, if not thousands, of colleagues, bosses and potential employers about your latest accomplishments, ambitions and changes in employment status, but your LinkedIn profile can also serve as a passive job magnet, since recruiters and hiring managers use the site as a gold mine for locating candidates. I worked with a LinkedIn's senior manager of communications, Krista Canfield, on the essentials of putting together a profile and making the most of it. Here's what I learned.

1. Customize your URL

LinkedIn will assign you a Web address when you create a profile, but you can write your own URL. Click the drop-down menu next to the "Edit" tab and then click on "Public profile settings." Halfway down the page, click on the blue phrase, "Customize your public profile URL." Try using your first and last name, with no spaces, and then other variants of your name. This will drive your LinkedIn page up toward the top of a Google search.

2. Write a crisp, detailed summary of your career.

Shoot for 100-300 words and try to tell a compelling story about yourself that includes specifics and quantifiable achievements.

3. Flesh out the experience section.

This is your chance to write an online resume. Many people only include their current job. Take the time to list the significant positions that built your career.

Ways 4-7 and the complete Forbes article

7 Ways to Stand Out in Your Job Search


A friend of mine recently lost her job. During her job search she became increasingly frustrated with job boards and asked me for suggestions on how to differentiate herself from the competition.

“Being different and grabbing peoples’ attention is relatively easy”, I replied. “However, being different in a way that makes you incredibly appealing to prospective hiring managers isn’t as simple.”
With differentiation in mind, here are 7 (well, 7½) unconventional approaches to job search that will help you stand out from the job seeking masses:

1. Don’t Rely on Job Boards

I’m not saying this to be different, but the truth of the matter is that job boards are the most used (read: overused) job search resource there is. On job boards, you are one of thousands of applicants applying for each job. 10-years ago, you would have been one of a thousand resumes on a hiring manager’s desk, but today your resume is screened by anapplicant tracking system and your identity as an applicant is reduced to binary digits on a hard-drive or server somewhere in cyberspace. If you want to stand out you really need to do it in person.

2. Your Network Will Never Be Big Enough

If you’re tired of hearing people talk about networking, then you’re probably not doing enough of it. There are few things more important to your success than your network, and a network comprised of many high-quality contacts and strong relationships makes it more likely that someone in it will know of someone who’s hiring, may be hiring soon, or may be looking for someone just like you.

3. Recruiters Won’t Find You a Job – That’s Your Job

All too often I hear someone who’s starting to look for work say “do you know of any recruiters?” to which I respond, “I certainly do, are you looking to hire someone?” While contacting recruiters is a good idea, waiting by the phone for a call from one isn’t – and there are two reasons why: 1) The odds that the specific recruiter you call is working for an employer who is looking for someone with your specific skill set right now are rather low, and 2) it’s as simple as this – recruiters work for employers, they don’t work for you.

Ways 4-7 and the complete article

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Want to Supersize Your LinkedIn Page? Focus on the 3 C's


Q: What's the best way to get organic growth for a LinkedIn company page?
- Visify Books, Detroit
A: Don't let the social media "gurus" out there fool you: There is no exact formula that will magically get you 100,000 followers overnight. However, there are definitely practices that you can employ to help grow your social-media network. I have found that if you stick with the three C's -- community, content and consistency -- you can enhance your LinkedIn company page over time.
Community. Use your real life community to help build your social-media channels. Every time I start using a new platform, I ask my friends and family to connect with the page first. The people that care about you will be your biggest cheerleaders. By getting them to engage, you will start to build a foundation to attract new people.
Also, use your existing social-media communities to attract new people to your LinkedIn page. Have you shared your business page via Twitter and Facebook? All of these channels should be interconnected.
Content. Practically everyone is on LinkedIn for career purposes, so make your page a resource for your industry. Share engaging, original content with your followers that they can utilize in their everyday life. For example, publish workplace tips or career advice relevant to your audience.
Read the article for the rest of "content" and C #3

Here, the 10 most critical job skills to parlay in your job search for 2013

Meghan Casserly

No. 1 Critical Thinking (found in 9 out of the 10 most in-demand jobs) 

Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

No. 2 Complex Problem Solving (found in 9 out of the 10 most in-demand jobs)

Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

No. 3 Judgment and Decision-Making (found in 9 out of the 10 most in-demand jobs)

Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate ones.

No. 4 Active Listening (found in 9 out of the 10 most in-demand jobs)

Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate and not interrupting.  

Skills 5-10 and the complete Forbes article

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Six Mistakes You Should Never Make on Linkedin

Miriam Salpeter

You've probably heard that social media, especially LinkedIn, can help you find a job. Whether you are currently employed and open to opportunities or between positions, statistics suggest LinkedIn is a useful tool. A survey of hiring managers by Bullhorn Reach says 97.3 percent of those surveyed used LinkedIn as a recruiting tool in 2012.

Having a profile is a great first step, but if you're like many professionals, you could probably leverage LinkedIn better to help you reach your career and job search goals.

Take a close look at your profile and how you use the network and make sure you aren't making these mistakes on LinkedIn.

1. Your profile isn't 100 percent complete.
You set up a profile, isn't that enough? Not exactly! Check your profile and make sure LinkedIn tells you it is "100 percent complete." If it's not, take the steps needed to fill it in. Perhaps you need to reach the required 50 contacts. Have you added your education and filled in some skills? Have you included your zip code, and filled in all of the sections? Do you have a Summary and have you described your work experiences? Don't forget to include a photo; people are much less likely to want to learn more about you if you don't add a picture to your profile. When your profile is not complete, you will be harder to find on LinkedIn, and you don't get the full benefit of the network.

2. Your profile lacks compelling details and keywords.
When recruiters or others search LinkedIn, they see many results listed. What will inspire them to select your profile? To start out, make sure you use a friendly, but professional looking photo. Create a headline (the information right under your name) that makes it clear why someone should want to learn more about you. Don't use your current job title as your headline; be descriptive and tell people why you're great at what you do. When you compose your descriptive headline, or pitch, be sure to include keywords, the words people are most likely to use when they search for someone with your background. Take advantage of the opportunity to tell your story in your LinkedIn profile.

3. You never modify your profile.
Social networks don't work as well when you "set it and forget it." Keep an eye on how often your profile comes up in search and how many people view your profile. (You can see this information when you view your profile - scroll down and look on the right side of your screen.) If the numbers are low, update your titles and your headline and tweak your descriptions to try to capture additional search traffic.

Mistakes 4-6 and the complete article

8 Reasons Why You Won’t Be Hired (And How To Get Past Them)

by Joey Trebif

We all know that job search can be tough and there are so many reasons why your search may take longer than you had hoped. The economy, your industry, your experience and competition are just a few of the factors that will impact your ability to land a new job.

But what if it’s more complicated than that?

What if it’s the unthinkable – you are the reason you are not getting any job offers?

Maybe you’ve thought about it, but if you haven’t, you should.

Think about it -
YOU are the single largest factor in getting a new job (or promotion or raise). It’s just not enough being the best and the brightest (and it never was). It’s about the entire package – how you present yourself, your resume, your cover letter, your network, your interview skills, your experience – and the list goes on.

So now that you’ve given it some thought, what are the reasons you won’t get hired?

1. Your Resume is All About You and Does Not Meet Hiring Managers’ Needs

Your resume obviously needs to include what you’ve done as well as a list of your achievements, but you know the old saying – “What have you done for me lately?”

Hiring managers want to know that you can do the job and the only way they will consider interviewing you is if your resume clearly demonstrates that you have what it takes to get the job done. If you’re not sure what to include, take a look at some job descriptions for your function (you should be able to find lots if you do a search).

Does your resume include enough job specific information to convince a reader that they should hire you (be honest with yourself)? If not, time to make some changes. You may need to have a few versions of your resume depending on the types of jobs / functions that you apply for.

2. You Didn’t Bother to Proof Read Your Resume, Cover Letter, etc.

My biggest pet peeve when reading a resume or cover letter is errors.

All of your job search documents should be error free. Just running a spell check is not enough. You should focus on sentence structure, punctuation, word usage, etc. Once you think that it is perfect, send it to some friends, family and peers in your network to read it as well. You will be surprised to find out how many errors may have slipped by.

But wait, you’re not done yet. When you forward your resume to a recruiter, they (I would argue) should be reviewing your resume as well and suggesting changes as appropriate. They see more resumes than anyone else and are best placed to help adjust your resume for the best possible error-free profile.

3. You’re Not Qualified for the Job

It makes absolutely no sense to submit your resume for jobs that are “close” or maybe not even close (for the same reasons as indicated in #1 above). You will be wasting your time, the recruiter’s time and the hiring manager’s time. Additionally, you will potentially be “burning bridges” which may mean that when you submit for a perfect match, your resume and application may go directly to the trash folder.

That being said, consider carefully how/when you want to leverage multiple resumes.

4. You Don’t Know How to Interview

Just because you are great at what you do, have the perfect resume and are generally the life of the party, does not mean you are good at interviewing. It’s not only about qualifications and being well spoken, it’s also about being able to answer those “soft” questions.

Every manager has a different interview style. Some prefer to ask technical questions while others prefer to see what “makes you tick” (and some like to do both). Read up on interview questions for your industry and job function. Also take a look at all of those “soft questions” and ensure you know how you would answer them.

Don’t worry about those “why is a manhole cover round?” questions. You can’t possibly know the answer to every one and the general thought these days is that those questions don’t add any value.

One more important point, make sure you are prepared with the questions you want to ask as well (see below)!

Read more 5-8 and the complete article

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

4 Signs You Shouldn’t Bother Applying to a Job


If you’re in desperation mode—i.e., totally miserable in your current gig or job hunting for the fourth unemployed month in a row—it’s temping to apply for any link your mouse lands on.

But if you’re set on finding a career that you actually love (which you should be!), stop applying willy-nilly to every job listing you stumble upon, and start focusing on finding the positions that make you excited to ditch your pajamas for the power suit hiding in the back of your closet.

How do you find these gems? Well, first off, you have to learn how to filter out the job listings that just aren’t worth your time. If you’re not sure exactly what to avoid, here are four signs that you should close your browser window and continue your search elsewhere.

1. It Seems a Little Fishy

If you find a job listing that doesn’t mention a specific company name, legitimate website, or any contact information besides an encrypted email address—well, that’s a sign you’re looking on Craigslist. And that, my friend, is a red flag.

I’ll admit it—I was once the victim of a Craigslist job listing. I applied to an entry-level marketing position, despite not being able to find much information about the company through its listed website. No more than an hour later, I had received both an email and a phone call, requesting an interview for the very next day. A little confused by the instantaneous reply, I Googled the company and quickly found out it was a scam.

While it’s possible to land a legitimate job on Craigslist, a large number of job listings aren’t trustworthy—so it’s important to sniff out which aren’t worth your time. If you can’t research the company (i.e., the listing doesn’t include a website or even a company name) or you’re asked for personal information like a Social Security or driver’s license number—retreat. Even better: Re-focus your job search by targeting specific companies through their own websites.

2. You Don’t Meet the Qualifications—By a Long Shot

Beginning your job hunt with an ideal position in mind is a good start—as long as it’s within your range of skills and experience. You may want to apply for the senior-level management position that requires 10 years of experience, but if you only have three years under your belt, you won’t stand a chance next to more qualified candidates.

Of course, if you’re only short the required experience by a small margin, go for it. But if you are missing key skills or several years of experience, it’s best to spend your time either applying for a job that would be a stepping stone to your ideal position, or working to gain the skills that will help you meet those qualifications.

Signs 3,4, and the complete article

Monday, August 26, 2013

How Recruiters Read Resumes In 10 Seconds or Less

Brad Remillard

The 10 or 20 seconds it takes to read a resume seems to always generate a lot of controversy. 

Candidates comment on how disrespectful it is, how one can’t possibly read a resume in that time and some get angry at recruiters when we talk about this. I hope this article will help everyone understand how we do this. I realize that some still may not like it and will still be angry, but at least you can understand how it works.

First, let me say I’ve been a recruiter for 30 years.  I’m sure I have reviewed over 500,000 resumes. I can’t prove this but I’m reasonably confident that this is the case, as this is only an average of about 46 a day. I know many days I have reviewed hundreds of resumes and most in less than 20 seconds. I would say the average is probably around 5 to 7 seconds.

So for the record when you hear or read about, “reading a resume in 20 seconds,” that isn’t completely true. It is more than likely, “reviewed the resume in 20 seconds.”

Here is my process for getting through 100′s of resumes in a short period of time. Others may have different ways and I welcome your comments.

I set up a hierarchy of certain “must haves” or you’re out, so at first I’m really just box checking. Generally, 80% of the time these are my knock out blows. There are exceptions to each of these, but I’m dealing with the 80/20 rule. These are not cumulative times.  This is box checking, if I see any one of these as I scan your resume you will be excluded.

1. Location. If the client is in Los Angeles, CA and you aren’t – goodbye. Few if any clients want to relocate anyone in this economy, and I believe most shouldn’t have to. Especially in a huge metropolitan area like Los Angeles. If they do have to consider relocation the position has to require some very unique experience that few jobs do. I can do this in about 1 second.

2. Industry. If my client is in banking and your background is primarily manufacturing – goodbye.  These two often are so different that the client isn’t open to considering such different industries. This works both ways, if you have a manufacturing background I’m not going to consider someone with banking. 2-3  seconds to determine this.

3. Function. If I’m doing a sales search and your background isn’t sales – goodbye. Generally companies are paying recruiters to find them a perfect fit. We never do find a perfect fit, but we have to be very close. They don’t need a recruiter to find them someone in a completely different function. 2 seconds to figure this one out.

4. Level. If I’m doing a VP level search and your title is “manager” and you have never been a VP – goodbye. There are exceptions to this, but again it is the 80/20 rule. Again, clients pay me to find them the perfect fit. It is generally way too big of a jump from manager level to VP level, all other things being equal. It works the other way too. If  I’m looking for a manager and you are a VP – goodbye. I know you are qualified to do a manager level role, but it is clear you have grown past. Most clients and recruiters aren’t willing to take the chance that when a VP level position comes along that you won’t be gone. Less than 5 seconds to figure out.

Steps 5-9 and the complete ImpactHiringSolutions article

How LinkedIn Helps Passive Job Seekers Land Their Dream Jobs

Leah Arnold-Smeets

You already know by now that LinkedIn is a great tool to help with your job search, but it's also the place to be when you're NOT directly looking for a job. Passive job seekers are already employed, but willing to take on a new opportunity, should the offer fit the bill. So, whether you're actively seeking a job or not, LinkedIn is where it's at.

For those of you who just crawled out from the rock you were living under for a decade or so, LinkedIn is a professional social networking site that has morphed into one of the top tools recruiters use to find qualified candidates. Setting up a profile on LinkedIn is free and relatively simple, but it does require a bit of thought and time in order to complete your profile in its entirety (which is an important step if you want to get noticed). If you would like to learn more about how to optimize your LinkedIn profile, take a look at this post.

In a recent interview with The Washington PostLinkedIn's VP of Talent Solutions and Insights, Dan Shapiro, indicated that "through regular surveys, LinkedIn has determined that 20 percent of its users are actively seeking new positions and 20 percent couldn’t be happier in their jobs. The remaining 60 percent fall into the passive job seeker category." 

Shapiro went on to state that the social networking site is working diligently on the back-end to find out exactly what it is that makes the "passive job seeker" believe a particular job is the right fit. If that question can be answered, LinkedIn will hold the key to a valuable recruiting tool that will take the guesswork out of matching jobs to candidates. Therefore, it's essential for active and passive job seekers to have complete and updated online profiles if they wish to catch the eye of social recruiters. Otherwise, you can just consider your lacking profile as a message to the recruiters that screams, "I'm too lazy to type out words; wait until you see my terrible work ethic. Hire me."

Check out this infographic from Masters in Human Resources that illustrates how LinkedIn has revolutionized the world of recruiting, with 97 percent of staffing representatives utilizing the social site for recruiting candidates.

See the infographic and read the complete article

Friday, August 23, 2013

7 Steps to Make Your LinkedIn Endorsements Believable

by Donna Svei

LinkedIn upgraded its Skills section late last year to allow your first level connections to provide affirmation that you do indeed possess certain skills. Consider that to be good news because recruiters and hiring managers are more comfortable trusting your skills claims when they have credible corroborating evidence.

Unfortunately, people have gone a little overboard in endorsing each other on LinkedIn, thus causing great skepticism about the validity of these endorsements. If you have a large network that includes people you don’t know at all, then you’re at particular risk for this problem.

Here’s what you can do to ensure that your endorsements enhance, rather than cheapen, your profile:

  1. Click “Profile/Edit Profile” on LinkedIn’s main drop down menu.
  2. Scroll down to “Skills and Expertise” and click on the little blue pencil on the right-hand side of the page.
  3. Select “Add and Remove.” LinkedIn lets you display ten items in an attractive vertical display.  Beyond ten, it goes to a cluttered horizontal display. Shudder. Limit yourself to no more than ten skills. Pick the ones you want to be hired to do. Think “key words that recruiters would use to find me.” Delete the rest. Resist the urge to go beyond ten. It puts you at risk of looking like a Jack of All Trades and Master of None.
  4. Now click “Manage Endorsements.” Review who has endorsed you for each skill and uncheck people who don’t know enough about you to know whether or not you have that skill. Do it. You can always recheck them if it hurts too much a day or two from now. It won’t.

9 Questions To Ask Yourself During A Job Search

Melissa C. Martin

“Be all you can be.” Do you remember that TV ad the American army used for a time? Stop and think right now. Are you really doing everything in your power to move forward in your job search? 

Here are nine key questions to self-assess: 

1. What Do I Really Want? The question of the ages. Find something that you are good at. Look at interests – they are the cornerstone of career decision making. Take advantage of assessments, positive performance evaluations, job placements, and credentialed career practitioners to assist you. 

2. Should I Really Change? This is going to depend on what STAGE of change you are: 

Pre-contemplation (no intent to change where the job seeker is). Ex: “I just need a job because my parents/spouse… and then everything will be fine.” 

Contemplation (desire to change; confidence to start) Ex:” I really want to work. I don’t want to be unemployed.” Preparation (decision to change) Ex: “I’ve started to use my new skills and now I’m going to a job placement.” 

Action (attaining goals). “I know where I want to go now.” 

Maintenance (planning for high risk situations) Ex: “It feels good to be working all these years.” The stages of change model (SOC), has been effective for youth, newcomers and people with disabilities. If your are in stage one, you do NOT have motivation to move forward. 

3. What’s The Bright Side Of A Long Job Search? One of my counselling trainers said, “No problem exists twenty-four-seven except chronic illness.” Tell yourself that unemployment is temporary. Even better, tell yourself that others are experiencing worse things than you right now. Re-frame your negative-talk so it doesn’t sabotage career success. 

4. Am I Comfortable With What I’m Doing? See #2. Sometimes the best career decisions involve SOME degree of discomfort. Gauge your results and outcomes, otherwise, step out of your comfort zone. Underestimate, instead of overestimating goals and action plans.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Dos and don'ts for high schoolers using LinkedIn

Sean McMinn, USA TODAY

High school students can use these tips to get a head start on networking.

LinkedIn made two announcements Monday that mark a shift away from its approach of only going after working professionals — now it wants to add teens in the mix. It will lower its minimum user age next month to 14 in the U.S. and has already started launching college pages to prompt engagement with prospective students.
But even if your plan is to major in business and launch a Fortune 500 company after you graduate, take some time to learn the ins and outs of LinkedIn before you connect with Richard Branson or Marissa Mayer.
DON'T spam people you don't know with requests to connect.
LinkedIn's beauty is in its simplicity: Find people you've worked with, connect with them and then ask them for an introduction when you're looking for a job or business contact. But people don't want to see their inbox crowded with names and faces they don't recognize, asking to connect. If you must get in touch with someone you've never met in real life, or haven't at least talked to on the phone, send an explanation of why you want to connect and what you hope the relationship will bring for both of you.
DO follow up on in-person meetings with a LinkedIn request.
It's not always expected that college students have a LinkedIn profile, and it will probably be more of a surprise if someone in high school has one. If you meet important professionals at a school banquet, through your parents or at a summer job, shock them (in a good way) by sending a request to connect afterward. It will show them you're already ambitious enough to be thinking about your career and that you valued meeting them.
DON'T lie on your profile.
This goes without saying, but LinkedIn isn't Facebook or Twitter, where people say whatever they think will make them sound "cool." People expect you to be honest about your accomplishments, age and work history (whether it's at a lemonade stand or the local Taco Bell). Even a small lie can come back to haunt you as you're looking for a job years later.

Resume Tip Thursday: 10 Filler Words to Delete

By Ritika Trikha

Resume filler words are the equivalent of “like,” “um” or “you know” in everyday conversations. They mean nothing, add no value to the convo and make you sound really redundant.

Unlike resume power words, filler words are vague and applicable to anyone, like “hard-working.”
It’s a bad habit you just have to kick.

Hiring managers graze over meaningless, generic words and phrases included in your resume – costing you major brownie points.

Our friends at Grammarly are naturally sticklers about syntax. They recently came up with a fantastic list of the most generic, useless filler resume words (and phrases) that you, job seekers, must delete right now!

We also scoped out other experts for additional resume-killing filler words for an even more comprehensive list. Here it is:

1. “References Available Upon Request”
This is a given. Hiring managers already know to request references. Plus, this statement has no additional information that would be useful for them at all.

Instead, opt to request some glowing recommendations on LinkedIn. Then, once you have a couple shining recommendations you can flaunt, be sure to include a link to your LinkedIn profile at the very top next to your contact info. Chances are, your future boss will look at your LinkedIn profile anyway!

2.  “I am seeking a job/career/position….”
Too many job seekers are wasting your most valuable resume space by starting with this “I am seeking a position” line as part of their objective statement. Snooze!

The top of your resume needs to have the most impressive accomplishments. It’s prime resume real estate!

3. “Team Player”
Describe a team-oriented achievement.

4. “Strong Work Ethic”
Describe a particularly productive streak.

5. “Detailed Oriented”
On which projects or achievements?

Fillers 6-10 and the complete article

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

8 Secrets of Hiring Managers

5 LinkedIn Tips: Avoid Job Search Mistakes

Kristin Burnham

Job hunting can be a frustrating and tedious process, especially if your efforts aren't getting you anywhere. More often than not, you could be guilty of falling into one or more common job search traps, said Lindsey Pollak, career expert and LinkedIn ambassador.
"Even if you think you're doing all the right things, some people don't understand the rules of job hunting," she said in an interview. "Job hunting itself is its own skill, and it has its own set of rules that you need to abide by."
Here's a look at five common mistakes, plus tips for avoiding them.

1. Shallow Company Knowledge
Everyone knows that having background knowledge on the company you're applying to is important, especially in the interview process. What many people don't consider is the type of information you need to brush up on.
Be aware of any mentions of the company in the news -- both good and bad -- in addition to significant management changes and what its latest earnings report was like. You should also be informed on what you would be working on in the job you're applying for and what's most important about it, Pollak said. Aim to brush up on what's new in the industry, too, she said.
LinkedIn can help with much of this. Follow the business' company page for the latest information on personnel changes and important news. This can provide you with ideas for specific questions to ask during the interview process, Pollak said. You can also use LinkedIn Groups to find a community based on the industry you're interested in to keep up-to-date on what people are talking about.
2. A Static Network Of Peers
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 70% of jobs are found through networking. If it's been a while since you connected with those in your network, now is a good time to drop them a note, Pollak said.
Start by identifying your connections who are most active on LinkedIn, she recommended. You can find them by browsing who has appeared in your activity stream and contributed to Group conversations. "Treat it like you would people at a conference. You want to focus on and connect with the people who are there, not the ones who didn't show up," she said.
To reengage with people you have lost touch with, send a note of congratulations if someone has changed jobs, for example. Or, consider commenting or liking a story a connection has posted. Pollak said that these interactions can lead to a conversation, which can lead to an opportunity.
If you want to take a more direct approach to reconnecting with someone, Pollak recommended contacting them directly through a personal message. Below is an example of an appropriate message that shows you have done your homework and are genuinely interested in knowing that person again.
Hi Susan,
I came across your LinkedIn profile in the Intel alumni group and wanted to get back in touch. It's terrific to see that you've launched your own consulting business! I remember that was a goal of yours. As for me, I'm still working in software sales and am looking to make a transition back to the East Coast. I'd love to reconnect, catch up and perhaps see if we might assist each other. Would you like to chat by phone sometime in the next few weeks?
Thanks and all the best,

3. Your Profile Is Wordy
Your LinkedIn profile should not be a place to showcase your extensive vocabulary, Pollack said. Keep your language simple because people won't search for "passionate and clever wordsmith," they'll search for "writer."
"This one is an absolute science. Go to the job listing you're interested in and look at the words they have used, then use those same words in your profile," Pollak said. "You certainly don't want to plagiarize the paragraph, but use your common sense to identify what's important, then make sure those words are in your profile."
To test whether you're attracting the right people to your profile, look at the "Who's Viewed Your Profile" statistics, she recommended. In particular, check the listing of keywords that people used to arrive at your profile. If you don't like what you see, adjust the way you describe yourself, she said.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

LinkedIn's New University Pages Help Teens Network Before College

7 Ways to Make Sure They Read Your Cover Letter

  Your cover letter plays a really important role in a successful job search; but only if it gets read. What is the point of writing a cover letter if no one is going to read it? Doing the following things will increase the chances that recruiters read your cover letter when it is submitted as part of a job application.

  • Keep your cover letter the right length. Except for a few industries including higher education and maybe research, cover letters should be less than a page at all times. No more than three to four paragraphs are all you need to get your point across.
  • Make sure the salutation is correct in your cover letter. One way to get your cover letter tossed aside is to address your letter to the wrong company or wrong person. Take it from someone who reads a lot of cover letters; it does happen and it happens pretty often.
  • Do not use 'To Whom it May Concern" when you write a cover letter. Take the time and do the extra research to find the name of a person. Even using "Dear HR Manager" is better than addressing your cover letter "To Whom it May Concern".
  • Identify the specific job for which you are applying. There needs to be a clear connection between the job you are exploring, your cover letter and your resume.    

Monday, August 19, 2013

Craft a LinkedIn Headline That Captures a Recruiters Attention

by Glassdoor

Anyone who’s ever crafted newspaper headlines for most of an eight hour shift realizes a lot of mediocre verbiage comes to mind first. This is usually followed by the stronger, eye-catching ones.
This holds true on professional networking sites, such as LinkedIn, where individuals write their own headline showcasing their career and their talents. Writers, for example, call themselves a “digital storyteller” or a “writer-producer,” a “prolific writer” or “LinkedIn profile writer.”

These professional headlines are important, because they are one of the first things others see when they search the site. It becomes the sum-up of you and it’s smart to “make it sparkle,” said Krista Canfield, LinkedIn’s senior corporate communications manager. She uses the terms “journalist wrangler” and “constant beta” in hers.

Here are five questions to answer as you add some sparkle to your headline:

What Should Your Headline Accomplish?

The headline ought to “grab your attention” and help you stand out from other professionals who share your title or field, said Canfield, like a headline in a media article, “you want to draw people in and entice other professionals (whether they are potential hiring managers, business partners or clients) so that they click through to read the whole story – your full LinkedIn Profile, she said.

You also may want to give a key trait that will appeal to employers: energetic, bilingual, multimedia, design, award winning. Don’t make your headline a list though, either of your varied jobs or your skills.

How Much Creativity and Personality Will You Show? 

This depends partly on your industry and your attitude. You want to differentiate yourself from other profiles that also may show up in a recruiter’s search, Schaffer said. Plus you want to humanize yourself so you seem more approachable online, Canfield added.

Choose words creatively but make sure they support your brand, said Neal Schaffer, president of Windmills Marketing and author of two books on LinkedIn.

My current headline: “Careers and consumer writer, with a side of cherry ice” focuses on my duality: I’m a writer / journalist and an entrepreneur. It intentionally gives people a reason to look twice. They may be intrigued to learn that I co-own a small social enterprise, which sells Michigan-made all-vegan Italian ice, and gives a glimpse of my love of sweet treats.

How Are You Going to Add in Search Engine Optimization?  Find out how and why plus the rest of the article

The Biggest Mistakes 20-Something Job Seekers Make

Susan Adams

There was the young job seeker who showed up at his interview 15 minutes late, failed to apologize, and then asked if the interviewer had a garbage can so he could throw away his gum. There was also the 20-something applicant whose call to the hiring manager went dead in the middle of the conversation. The young woman didn’t call back for two hours, only to explain, without apology, that she had dropped her phone in a tub of water while she was getting a manicure. Then there was the mother who called her son’s boss when he wasn’t hired at the end of his internship, and demanded to know why.

Dani Ticktin Koplik, 58, an executive and performance coach in Englewood, N.J. has lots of stories like these. For the last several years, half of Koplik’s coaching practice has been made up of so-called Generation Y, or Millennial, job seekers. This group, age 20-32, makes a series of job-searching mistakes that stem from their sense of entitlement, lack of deference to authority and over-involvement by their parents. Koplik says in her own practice, parents frequently call and email, and try to micro-manage the coaching process. To run interference, Koplik schedules a monthly meeting with parents, mostly to tell them to stop meddling. She also coaches them to give their kids a consistent message.  Too many parents tell their offspring that they have to earn a living, and then let them live at home indefinitely rent-free. Koplik recommends timetables and limits.

I asked Koplik for a list of mistakes her 20-something clients make, and she had plenty of ideas. Here is her list of the top ten.

1.  Acting entitled
One of the consequences of over-involved parents is that young people feel as though they deserve an easy ride. Koplik tells of an intern who, on the first day, informed his supervisor that he had to leave early that Thursday for a horseback riding lesson. “It didn’t dawn on this person that he was being totally inappropriate and sabotaging his career,” says Koplik.

2. Starting the process too late
Ideally, college students should start looking for meaningful internships for the summer after their freshman year. Students who assume that they will get a job without too much effort, wait too long to begin the process.

3. Under-utilizing the alumni network
Though parents and their friends can provide good contacts, the network of professionals that comes through a college or university should be one of the first places a young job seeker turns.

4. Using a résumé that’s sloppy and too self-centered

Young job seekers are often weak on résumé basics, like clear, tidy layout, careful proofreading for grammar and punctuation, and use of keywords from the job description. Another big problem: the “objective” section tends to be too much about what they want, and not enough about the potential employer. For example, young applicants often say, “entry level position where I can use my skills, ideas and enthusiasm and I can learn a lot.” Instead, the emphasis should be on what they can contribute to the employer. Applicants should also leave off menial jobs like camp counselor, unless they can quantify their achievements, like saying they organized waterfront activities for a group of 150 campers.

5. Writing cover letters that repeat the résumé
Many young applicants regurgitate their résumé accomplishments in their cover letters. Instead, cover letters should be short and vivid, and say something particular about what the applicant can bring to the job.

Mistakes 6-10 and the complete Forbes article

Friday, August 16, 2013

The ABCs of Interviewing


A is for ... Ask as many questions as possible.

Asking intelligent questions helps you learn more about how qualified you are for the position. Smart questions also send a message about your interest in the job. Remember that you shouldn’t ask something you could find on a simple Web search

B is for ... Be specific.

“Yes” or “No” are not suitable responses to any question you’re asked. Even if asked if you want a glass of water, you should stretch the answer out to “Yes, please” or “No, thank you.” For heavy-hitter questions, you should give examples to support your answers. For instance, explain why you’re a good fit for the position. Tell a story of a time you overcame an obstacle.

C is for ... Carry several pens and a notepad.

Your interviewer is unaware of and disinterested in your elephant memory, so bring what’s needed to take notes even if note-taking isn’t normally your style. It’s another way to relay your interest in the job and your engagement in the conversation, plus the notes will give you specifics to refer to in your thank-you email as well as in a second- or third-round interview.

D is for ... Develop a strategy for discussing tricky subjects.

“Why are you leaving your old job?” “Why do you have a seven-year employment gap on your résumé?” “What are you most concerned about with this job?” Count on fielding awkward questions like these and rehearse so that you won’t struggle and stutter when the time comes.

E is for ... Enunciate.

Take a deep breath before answering each question, and remember to speak slow enough so that you don’t trip over your words. You’ll probably find the quality of your answers will improve by doing so, plus you’ll lower the chances of rambling.

The 5 Biggest Job Search Mistakes…and How LinkedIn Can Help You Avoid Them

Lindsey Pollak

While it’s crucial to do the right things in a job search, it’s also important to avoid making common mistakes. Here are the top five missteps to avoid — and how LinkedIn can help you overcome them:

Mistake #1: Being uninformed
Companies today want employees who can hit the ground running, and that means knowing as much as possible about what that company does, who its competitors are and what’s happening in its overall industry.

The Remedy:
Beyond thoroughly researching the employer’s own website, you should follow that organization’s Company Page on LinkedIn. Pay special attention to current news the company is posting (which can provide ideas for specific questions to ask during networking conversations and formal job interviews) and the “Products & Services” page, which provides a cheat sheet to the company’s overall structure and offerings.

For general insight into an employer’s industry, subscribe to that industry’s LinkedIn Channel and join a few LinkedIn Groups in that field to get a sense of what industry insiders are talking about. Not sure which groups will be most valuable? Look at the LinkedIn profiles of people who work for your dream employer and join the groups they belong to.

Mistake #2: Losing touch
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 70% of jobs are found through networking. This means that every member of your network should be cherished; any lost connection is potentially a lost opportunity.

The Remedy:
You can use LinkedIn Contacts to manage all of your existing connections and integrate them with your daily calendar. This means you’ll never miss an opportunity to congratulate someone on a new job or follow up on a recent meeting. Scan through your LinkedIn feed on a daily basis, too, to look for opportunities to comment on people’s status updates and the news they share. Even a simple “like” on an article someone has posted can lead to a chat, which can lead to an opportunity.

To reengage with people you’ve lost touch with, check out the alumni groups of any corporations you’ve worked for and the LinkedIn Alumni tool to search for former university classmates, then send InMails or customized LinkedIn connection requests. The best way to avoid any potential awkwardness with a long lost contact is to read that person’s LinkedIn profile thoroughly before reaching out, and then mention something specific in your outreach to show you’ve done your homework and are genuinely interested in knowing that person again. For example:
Hi Susan,
I came across your LinkedIn profile in the Intel alumni group and wanted to get back in touch. It’s terrific to see that you’ve launched your own consulting business! I remember that was a goal of yours. As for me, I’m still working in software sales and am looking to make a transition back to the East Coast. I’d love to reconnect, catch up and perhaps see if we might assist each other. Would you like to chat by phone sometime in the next few weeks?
Thanks and all the best,

Mistake #3: Using uncommon words
Here’s an example of a mistake I see frequently: wanting to be unique and creative, an aspiring writer will create the LinkedIn headline, “Passionate and clever wordsmith.” That’s great, but when someone is looking to hire a writer, he or she is most likely to search with the word “writer.” Don’t get too fancy!

The Remedy:
Recruiters, in particular, use keywords to find talent, so it’s important to research the keywords that a recruiter might be using to find someone with your particular skills. If you’re not sure what keywords to include in your headline and throughout your profile, scan through the job listings that appeal to you. Recruiters have likely provided you with the exact words they want. To test whether or not you are attracting the right people (including recruiters) to your profile, check out your Who’s Viewed Your Profile stats. In particular, check out the listing of keywords that people used to arrive at your profile. If you don’t like what you see, it’s time to adjust the words you are using to describe yourself.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

6 Resume Mistakes That Will Get You Rejected

Resume writing is absolutely crucial when it comes to attaining a position of employment – so it’s important not to mess it up. But believe it or not, resume mistakes go way beyond just examining your spelling and grammar. There is much more that you should be considering before shooting off your personal resume to a potential employer.

Here are 6 mistakes that will a) make you look unprofessional and b) prevent you from getting the job. 

Too much blabber
While it’s perfectly fine to develop a resume that exposes all of your talents, you must always remember that too much information can only serve to harm your application. Put yourself in the shoes of an employer; you’re likely to be sifting through a whole host of resumes, you want to scan and quickly pick up the important points of the document without needing to read through four pages of resume.

An inappropriate email address
Is your email address appropriate for a resume? Well, if it goes something along the lines of then chances are that it’s inappropriate – and therefore unprofessional. Which is a bit of a turn-off for employers. If you don’t already have one, create an email address that’s resume friendly – one that includes your full name., for instance (if your name is Joe Bloggs).

Resume jargon
Another thing that is likely to grate on the nerves of employers is hearing the same manufactured and canned clichés over and over as they flick from resume to resume – or, as I like to call it, “resume jargon”. For example, you may claim to be an “excellent team player”, “eager to learn” or “really excited to become a part of a reputable company”.

You may indeed be all of those, but the trouble is that all these phrases are rather generic and unoriginal. They don’t separate you from every other candidate in the process who, in all likelihood, is probably saying something very similar. 

How to Build Authority on LinkedIn in 15 Minutes a Day

by Lisa Toner

So you followed the step-by-step wizard to completing your LinkedIn profile. Then, maybe you even went a step further and added some apps like your SlideShare account, claimed your vanity URL, and linked your profile to your website and blog. Congratulations, you graduated LinkedIn 101!

But you want to be so much more than that. You want to be an expert in your field. You have ideas that you want to be seen and heard. 

Good news! With LinkedIn, you can become whoever you want to be if you put in a little bit of time. For the low investment of just 15 minutes a day, you can establish and maintain a solid personal brand. Just follow these simple steps every day, then start to watch your connections grow and the requests for your expertise flood in!

And if you're a European marketer who is looking for a deeper dive into using LinkedIn to drive business results, check out our recently released toolkit, Lessons in LinkedIn for the European Marketer. You'll lean the basics: how to build and grow your LinkedIn network, how to build a personal brand on LinkedIn, how to use LinkedIn for business, and how to measure the success of your LinkedIn efforts. Click here to download this toolkit.

First Things First: Set Yourself Up for Success
Before we get started, you need to get yourself into the habit of investing time in building your personal brand. Allocate a slot on your calendar and make it recur every day of the workweek. When that reminder pops up though, you need to take it seriously -- no snoozing!

Here’s the agenda we recommend you follow (assuming you want to start at 9 a.m.):

9:00 a.m. Take Advantage of Influencer Posts

Though it seems a little counter-intuitive, a crucial component to establishing your personal brand is sharing other people's amazing content. And LinkedIn is the perfect place to find that awesome content. It's become a hub for industry leaders who share their thoughts around the topics they are most passionate about, with some authors getting over 2 million views in a single article. There are two ways you can take advantage of content in LinkedIn's Influence network:

1) Find thought-provoking articles from LinkedIn Influencers to read and share with your network.

When you log into LinkedIn, go to the 'Interests' menu and click on the dropdown item named 'Influencers.' You can filter the types of posts based on the most recent posts, top posts this week, or top posts today. As you'll be coming there every day, choose ‘Top Posts Today’ so that you will be equipped with timely and topical information to share with your network.
Once you find two or three valuable Influencer Posts, schedule them to be shared with your network throughout the day. Keep in mind that, the earlier you share information to your network, the more valuable you will become to them. If you share a top Influencer Post a week after your connections have already read it, your value to them diminishes significantly. And if you find any particularly inspirational experts, make sure you follow them so they will appear in your tailored news section tomorrow. 

2) Follow one new Influencer from the 'All Influencers' tab each day.

Next, head over the 'All Influencers' tab and find someone to follow. Along the right of the page you can see a drop down menu which allows you to filter by the most followed influencers, or alphabetically if you already have someone in mind and want to find them in there.
We recommend that you not only follow people in your industry but also experts in completely different roles or fields who will inspire you and your network to think in a different way. Following people who will make you think differently though original, thoughtful content will not only give you more content to share throughout the day, but also establish yourself as a quality content curator with your Connections. 

9:05 a.m. Read 'Your News'

In the tab called ‘Your News,’ you'll see the latest and greatest from the people you are already following. Be disciplined and only choose two or three articles to read each day so you don’t lose an hour or more lost in the genius of these people -- which could be very easy to do!

Curate the articles that you want to share, but don’t blast updates to your followers all in one spree. This will clog up your people's timelines and they will see you as more of a nuisance than a valuable connection. If you have social media software like HubSpot's Social Inbox in place, you can easily schedule updates to go out across the day or week.

9:08 a.m. Add a New Topic - Read about adding a New Topic and the rest of the HubSpot article