Friday, May 30, 2014

6 Ways to Use LinkedIn to Land a Job


Creating and fostering professional connections, or networking, is widely considered the most effective way to land a job. Based on data that suggests more people find employment than there are positions publicly available, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states that 70% of jobs are found through networking.

What’s more, LinkedIn—the online social networking platform for professionals—is changing the networking and recruiting landscape in just about every industry. In a 2013 survey of nearly 1,900 employers, 97% said they actively use LinkedIn to recruit new hires. Now becoming a resource for everything career-related, employers believe a LinkedIn profile is essential for every individual. For college students especially new to the professional world, LinkedIn can be the gateway to making new connections, finding a career path, and, most importantly, to cinching job opportunities and interviews.

Mastering the art of networking is a long process that takes work and dedication. Spend the time cultivating relationships and you will eventually build a strong professional circle that may open doors to new opportunities down the road. To learn how to use LinkedIn as a networking tool and career builder, follow the advice of NerdScholar’s college career experts.

1. Build your LinkedIn before your job search begins.

Students who are active on the online networking platform during college will be better equipped for the job search when they graduate. Making connections and asking people for career advice will help in your job search later on, says Patricia Simpson, director of career services at the University of Illinois. “It helps to start the networking [and] connecting process before the student has a real ‘ask’ to make of an alum or other connection.” Simpson adds that “most people love to offer advice” and are more likely to help with your job search once they’ve gotten to know you.

By having a LinkedIn profile, Simpson says, students will “have many more resources to draw upon once they’re doing a job search than they would without LinkedIn connections.”

3. Connect with people on LinkedIn as soon as you meet them.

Because networking is important to a person’s continual professional growth, Bob Franco, senior assistant director of career services at Seton Hall University, says students should make it a routine to build connections on LinkedIn as often as possible. Connecting right after you’ve met someone will ensure they remember you. What’s more, he says, “people will appreciate the invitation.”

Franco recommends this approach for all connections a person can possibly make. “Students should be linking to professors, internship supervisors, individuals they meet at networking events and, maybe most importantly, to each other,” he says. “Linking to other students clearly has long-term benefits in that, at some point, these students will be managers and executives—getting connected to them early may be one of the most important things to do.” When your professional network is limited, Franco advises students to connect with professors and faculty members that may be able to expand your number of secondary contacts in relevant fields.

See all 6 ways and the complete article

5 Parts Of A Cover Letter (A.K.A. How To Write A Good One!)

In this article, I am going to demonstrate the mechanics of a well written cover letter. I hope this provides some knowledge about the parts of a cover letter, and enables you to generate interest from a hiring manager.

1. The Salutation (The Hello)
Get a name, any name. By hook or by crook try to get a name.  Sometimes you can’t – then try To whom it may concern or Dear hiring manager.

     Dear Hiring Manager:

2. The Opening (The Grab)
Your opening paragraph is your introduction and presents the reader with some immediate and focused information regarding the position you are pursuing and a few core competencies that demonstrate your strength:

Having contributed as an operations and general business leader, I am writing to express my interest in [Name of Position] with [Name of Company]. You will see on the enclosed resume I turned around an under-performing business, substantially improved productivity and employee morale, and possess critical and creative thinking skills that will facilitate my swift contribution to your sustained growth.

3. The Second Paragraph (The Hook)

Thursday, May 29, 2014

12 Ways to Get a Job Interview and One Way Not To

Nowadays, most of the work I do involves helping recruiters and hiring managers find and hire perfect people for imperfect jobs. In the manual I give them I also provide a bunch of countermeasures for candidates to use whenever they meet interviewers who don’t follow the steps I recommend. Some of these are highlighted below.

Job Hunting Tip #1: don’t apply directly to any job posting. The only exception to this rule is if you’re a perfect fit based on the skills, experiences and titles listed on the job description. If you’re not a perfect, you shouldn’t spend more than 20% of your time applying to jobs. However, if you think you can do the job, even if you’re not a perfect match on the requirements listed, there are many things you can do to get an interview. Here are my favorites:
  1. Use the Backdoor. Once you know the job title and location, look on LinkedIn or use Google to find the name of the hiring manager or department head. If this doesn’t work, call and ask someone in some other function who’s the VP of the department. The big idea: use the job posting as a lead to work rather than an application button to press.
  2. Get More Referrals. Getting a referral from someone in the company is the best way to get an interview. It’s even better if the referral will give you a personal recommendation. If you’re serious about getting a better job, networking to get referrals should represent 50% or more of your job hunting efforts. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to triple the size of your network in a few weeks.
  3. Be Different. I had one candidate prepare a competitive analysis for a product marketing position in the telecommunications industry. He sent it to the VP who routed it to the Director. He told me he got an interview as a result.

10 Simple Ways to Make Your LinkedIn Profile Your Epic Resume

I probably joined LinkedIn sometime in 2003 or 2004 since my first recommendation dates back to 2005. So it is safe to say I have a decade of experience with LinkedIn.
Thus, from the simple length of time I have been updating, my profile is somewhat epic, sometimes I get made fun of for having a “too complete” profile.
But more recently, as the LinkedIn profile quickly becomes the golden copy of a resume more and more folks ask for tips and tricks to making profiles … epic.
Today, someone asked if I could help him make a “Sweet Resume” on LinkedIn – this was a first.
Below are some of my techniques, they go a bit deeper than the simple stuff like complete the profile, add others colleagues, or add education, etc.
  1. Get the top right – nothing is more boring than a profile without a picture, or a profile with a title that says “VP, Technology”. The reality is that the LinkedIn profile is much more than a resume, it is a personal statement of what your colleagues (and customers) can expect from you. Here are some examples “Delivers Projects Like No Body’s Business” – now there is a guy/gal I am looking to hire!
  2. Use the gallery – For every job you had and your summary, LinkedIn allows you to add videos, pictures, documents and links. This is the “rich media” that you can add to your profile to make it relevant, and go beyond a simple digital copy of your resume online. This is the "sweet" in "Sweet Resume".
  3. Use company pages – you want to link each of your jobs to the employer’s official page. This allows the logo of the company you worked for to be added to your profile enabling readers to quickly see what companies you were associate with via company logos.
  4. Publishing – LinkedIn allows you to add your publications; these can be blogs, research reports, articles, or books. One cool trick is to always co-publish, this way the faces of your co-publishers are added to your profile giving you network credence.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

5 Things You're Doing Right (But Could Be Doing Better) In Your Job Search

The Muse, Contributor

The bad news: You’re probably doing a lot of things wrong in your job search.

The good news: You’re also likely doing several things right.

The bad news: Some of those things you’re doing right? You could actually be doing them much better.

The good news: We’re about to show you how.

1. Sleuthing Out Contacts Within a Company, but Being Too Forward With the Approach

I like the go-getter in you. You’re not going to just sit there and blindly apply for advertised positions online. No, sir. You’re going to find and endear yourself to people on the inside of companies of interest, to give yourself a leg up on the competition. All good. But not so good if you’re charging at strangers via LinkedIn or other channels like some kind of crazed bull. That’s not networking; that’s ambushing. And no one likes to feel ambushed.

Do it Better

Approach people in a way that you’d want to be approached by a stranger. I’m guessing that you’d be more than willing to chat with or help someone if he or she contacted you in a friendly, flattering, or helpful way before asking for anything from you, right? Be that stranger. Built rapport first before you ask for any big favors.

2. Updating Your LinkedIn Profile, But Alerting Everyone at Your Current Employer That You’re Looking

Optimizing your LinkedIn profile so that your keywords, brand, and tone align with your career goals is incredibly smart. But if you’re a covert job seeker, you can run into some serious snags (especially if your colleagues or boss are among your LinkedIn contacts) if you update several things on your profile without first turning off your activity broadcasts.

Do it Better

If you’re trying to fly under the radar with your search, before you update a single thing on your LinkedIn profile, head into your privacy settings. Within the privacy controls section, select “Turn on/off your activity broadcasts” and uncheck the box that says “Let people know when you change your profile…” This will stop all announcements going out to your network, keeping you in the job-hunting clear.

Read things 3-5 and the complete Forbes article

15 Ways LinkedIn Can Supercharge Your Job Search Results

You know that LinkedIn is a critically important job search tool, right? But do you know the specific ways LinkedIn can elevate your search results? Let’s take a look at 15 of them.

There are five major job search methodologies, or ways to bring your candidacy to the attention of prospective employers. By supplementing your action steps in each of these areas with specific LinkedIn tactics, you can upgrade the number of interviews and career opportunities you attract.

1. Networking
Hopefully you are already aware that networking is the #1 way to land a job at any career level. Whether you are a new college grad or a C-suite executive, networking – when done right – will open doors to new jobs faster than any other strategy. Supplement your networking with these specific actions on LinkedIn and you’ll see even better results.
  • 1) Segment your networking: Odds are you have several hundred non-LinkedIn networking connections that you’re planning to contact in your search, but you have to segment those by hand unless you’re using a CRM (customer relationship management) tool. While LinkedIn isn’t a full-fledged CRM tool, it can help you to segment your first-/second-level and Group connections. From your Contacts tab, use recent conversations and filters to segment your list by communication thread, first or last name, company, tag, location, title, or connection level.

2. Targeted Outreach To Companies
Many job seekers don’t realize that targeting specific employers is a powerful way to gain entry to new career opportunities. By making the fatal mistake of assuming a job opportunity has to already exist, they miss out on the incredible benefit of accessing the Hidden Job Market – job openings that will soon be available but have not yet been publicly advertised. With LinkedIn’s business intelligence you gain take your targeted outreach to the next level.
  • 3) Network with connections you already have in the company: I presume you already know that when you visit a company profile on LinkedIn you will be presented with a list of connections you have with the employer. If you filter that list, then leverage the intelligence you can garner from each connection’s profile, you will boost your networking requests of them to the next level.

4. Recruiters
The previous three job search methodologies are great choices for penetrating the Hidden Job Market where 85% of jobs can be found. There are times, though, when it’s appropriate to also apply for jobs that have been already published (the Visible Job Market, of course), including those assigned to an external recruiter. The problem is, though, that recruiters are overwhelmed with great candidates. So how do you get their attention?

      12) Seed evidence of your brand in Groups recruiters hang out in: Keep in mind that some recruiters are active or lurk in select industry LinkedIn Groups. If you “seed” your communications in those Groups with evidence of your brand, achievements, and industry insights, then you can potentially cultivate recruiter awareness of your candidacy.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Personal Branding FAIL: 4 Errors Job Seekers Make

For those interested in finding work or advancing their careers, establishing a personal brand is essential. This practice effectively involves the cultivation of certain, positive associations with an individual’s name, as when a job seeker brands him or herself as a green plumbing expert, or a people-oriented real estate professional.

As such, more and more individuals are starting to take personal branding seriously. However, according to online marketing professional Rich Gorman, not all branding strategies are created equal. Some well-meaning individuals, either through neglect or misinformation, end up doing more harm than good to their personal brands.

By isolating the most common personal branding fails, individuals can ensure that their branding efforts yield only positive results. Here are a few:

1) Using A Boring LinkedIn Headline
By now, most job seekers understand that LinkedIn is an incredible platform for seeking and finding employment—but are you really using the site to its full potential? The opportunities for personal branding via LinkedIn are abundant, yet it is easy to miss them. For one, make sure you’re not settling for a boring headline. Yes, “Sales Representative” may be your job title, but that’s unlikely to distinguish you from others in your field. Instead, use something that’s more creative, more attention-getting, or simply more loaded with descriptive words.

2) Being Afraid Of Social Media

There are many who believe that, because social media sites can lead to personal branding breakdowns, they are better off avoided altogether. These folks are right that the wrong words can cause reputational peril, but wrong in thinking the solution is to abandon social media altogether. Instead, be strategic in using Facebook and Twitter and other social media sites to cultivate your expertise and authority. Share posts or articles that pertain to your field, and offer your own insights and opinions.

Top 100 LinkedIn Groups for Job Seekers and Recruiters in 2014

This list is reverse-ordered according to member counts, and each group is described with its official text as it appears on LinkedIn, typos, translation errors, warts and all.

We also added the main language of the group where it’s not English.

96.oil and gas jobs linkedin groupOil and Gas Jobs – 33,499 members – This group provides Oil and Gas professionals a platform to explore, discuss and be updated on the latest opportunities for technical and commercial candidates across the globe. This group will be kept updated with roles from the Americas, EMEA, Scandinavia and Asia Pacific regions. Roles that will be advertised in this group will be of interest for job seekers from graduates looking for their first role through to Directors and all experience levels in-between.

92.chef linkedin groupChef – chefs chef job jobs food cooks culinary food service professionals – 34,182 members – a group for professional chefs looking to network, find jobs, or answer questions. We are suitable for the following types of chefs: chef de partie, sous chef, commis chef, demi chef, executive sous chef, executive chef, catering chef, hospitality chef, training chefs and others like these. If you are working in a hotel, resort, restaurant or cruise line, catering company or any other culinary related position, this is the group for you. jobs worldwide linkedin groupFINANCE JOBS WORLDWIDE ★ Careers ★ Recruitment ★ Staffing ★ Opportunities ★ Executive Search ★ HR – 49,365 members – Career HR recruiter consultant staffing Corporate Banking Bank Capital Markets Financial Services Insurance Investment Banking Investment Management Real Estate Venture Capital Private Equity Accounting CA CPA CFA MBA Analyst Associate Managing Director Manager Executive Vice President Mortgage Loans Broking Brokerage Stocks Trader Accountant Securities Hedge Fund Commodity Audit professional education training auditing asset.

53.Expat Network linkedin groupExpat Network – 54,213 members – Welcome! A Network for expat networkers, expatriate services professionals, Human Resources, recruiting managers

27.Corporate Recruiters linkedin groupCorporate Recruiters. #1 Group for Corporate Recruiters. – 100,001 members – #1 Group for Corporate Recruiters. Group designed to connect Recruiters and to share ideas on how to leverage Linkedin potential and improve sourcing, talent acquisition, referrals, fee splitting, and other recruiting and HR issues. If you are recruiter or involved in recruitment, then join this group.

5.Banking Careers linkedin groupBanking Careers – 353,906 members – Career networking for the banking and finance profession. Commercial and investment bankers, financial officers, treasurers, cash and investment managers discuss jobs and share job opportunities and career advancement ideas.

Friday, May 23, 2014

6 Bad LinkedIn Habits That Must Be Broken

by Daniel Newman

As LinkedIn surpasses 300 million users, it clearly remains a powerful networking site where the benefits of social meet the needs of the professional.

Still, there seems to be some confusion on how to use LinkedIn; there are still several basic tenets of using LinkedIn that seem to go ignored. Specifically, we seem to be using Linked as we use Facebook or Twitter.


If you want the other pros on LinkedIn to take you seriously, you need to avoid certain behaviors; some of which are perfectly acceptable on other social networks. For best results, here are 6 social networking practices you should not to do on LinkedIn…

Frequent Status Updates

People don’t check LinkedIn nearly as often as Facebook or most other Social Networks for that matter. So I recommend that statuses are updated no more than once or twice a day. This is more for your benefit than for your network. Oversimplify here and focus on sharing much less frequently, while trying to find highly interesting content that will benefit your connections.

Connection Spamming

I know you may want to be a first level connection with Mark Zuckerberg or Tim Cook, however random connection requests here are generally not looked upon fondly.

Collecting connections is kind of like collecting twitter followers. If they aren’t interested in you, your product, or your service then the connection may not hold much value. If you really want to give it a go and connect to those you have no relationship with, at the very least include a little note saying why you want to connect and how a relationship with you may become mutually beneficial.

Habits 3-6 and the complete article

5 Ways to Keep Employers Interested After an Interview

You’ve just finished a phone interview with an employer. Although you’re feeling positive about the interview, the employer said they would only be in touch if they don’t find someone more experienced. Feels like a slap in the face, right?

If you find yourself in this situation after an interview, it’s easy to jump to conclusions. Your first thought after a bad job search experience might be the employer will never contact you. You could also make the decision to forget about the interview and move forward with the rest of your job search. Regardless of how you’re feeling about the interview, don’t give up hope just yet.

There’s a secret to getting noticed by employers after an interview; you need to keep them interested even if they don’t hire you for the position. If you can make a good first impression and catch an employer’s interest, they’re bound to keep you at the top of their list of potential candidates.

To keep an employer interested in your application, it’ll require some action on your part. Here are five ways you can keep your application at the forefront of an employer’s mind during their hiring process:

1. Take initiative. 
If the interview didn’t end as you had hoped, it’s up to you to keep your name fresh in the interviewer’s mind. Take initiative to follow up with the interviewer and establish a connection. Even if the employer cannot offer you a job, find out if they can keep you updated about future job opportunities. This way, the interview doesn’t go to waste and you have a new connection.

2. Read between the lines during communication.
Once the interview is over, take notes of the positive and negative feedback you received from the interviewer. For example, the employer said you’d be a stronger candidate if you had at least one year of experience. Instead of ignoring the interviewer’s feedback, inquire about internship opportunities. This shows your eagerness to learn and your interest in the company.

3. Gauge the employer’s attitude.  - Read more about way #3, ways 4&5, and the complete glassdoor article

Thursday, May 22, 2014

8 Groups To Help You Score A Job on Linkedin

It wasn’t all that long ago that we presented some tips on how to become an all-star on LinkedIn. One of those pieces of advice was the importance of groups. In fact, we recommended that you join at least 50 different groups. Why? Well, that’s rather simple. Not only is that a requirement for all-star status, groups are also one of the best resources on LinkedIn. Not only can groups help you network, you can also discover who’s hiring or even get advice on key elements like how to properly write a resume.

But, which groups should I join on LinkedIn?

That’s probably the most important question you should be asking. For starters, a great place to start is by narrowing down your search by industry and location. So, for example, if you are an accountant in St. Louis, you should join several St. Louis accounting and finance groups.

It also wouldn’t hurt to join any other groups that are related to your field. While that group may be located in another part of the country, it’s still an opportunity to discuss the industry. You may discover the latest trends or some other useful tips that are related to your profession. Also, you could strike up a conversation with an individual who has connections to an influential person in your neck of the woods.

So, you found some groups to join. Now what?

One of the best pieces of advice that you can give you is to join discussions. After all, if you’re not chatting with other people, how else are you going to get noticed? Scroll through a group’s message and look for the topics that interest you. It’s not only a chance to exchange ideas and learn something useful, it’s the best way to engage people who have some influence or connections. In fact, once you join a group, you’ll be able to email members directly.

Another way to make yourself visible within your groups is by starting a new thread. It could be anything from asking a question, sharing a relevant article or simply introducing yourself to the group. This gives you the opportunity to make your presence known, as well as, giving group members a little insight into who you are as an individual and professional.

Finally, if you join a group that is related to your profession, aka a niche group, you might have the chance to get a lead on a potential job opening that either hasn’t been posted yet or widely announced. Striking up a relationship with people who have this kind of information is one of the best reasons to actively participate in groups.

However, there are also a lot of mainstream groups that are just as valuable as though related to your field. When you join these groups, you’ll be making your job hunt much easier by getting updates, job postings, the chance to ask questions and, of course, network. With all that in mind, here are the top 8 LinkedIn groups you need to join if you want to secure a job.

1. JOBS: Job Openings, Job Leads and Job Connections

Here is the largest jobs group on LinkedIn – which you can’t argue with almost 1.7 million members. This group has perfected the art of networking, connecting, and collaborating with it’s extensive network, as well as hosting and sharing insightful job related topics with either articles or discussions. JOBS also assists job seekers with issues like their resumes and allows members to post and search for jobs.

2. A Job Needed – A Job Posted

This is group has self-proclaimed itself as a “career connection group” and has a very serious no spam policy.  What this group does best is connect job seekers with relevant recruiters, as well as locating specific job postings. There are also useful articles that contain tips on resumes, LinkedIn and just the job search process as a whole. A Job Needed – A Job Posted has almost 50,000 and has been helping job seekers since January 11, 2009.

Groups 3-8 and the complete article

5 Job Search Time Wasters To Avoid

by Helen Evans

Searching for a job can be a full-time job in itself. Between searching online job boards and networking with others, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the job hunting process. While there’s no substitute for hard work, there are some things that you might be doing that waste your time.

Here are a few job search time wasters to avoid:

1. Applying For Jobs You Aren’t Qualified For
If you are in desperate need of a job, you may be tempted to apply for all of the latest job openings posted online. The problem with this strategy is that every employer has its own set of criteria for each job posting. If you don’t meet this criteria, applying for the job will only waste your time (and the time of the employer).

Recruiters and hiring managers are not likely to consider you for the position if you don’t meet their minimum requirements. Instead of wasting your time applying for every job listing you can find, focus on applying for jobs that you actually qualify for.

2. Not Expanding Your Search Methods
Many job seekers focus all of their energy searching online for job opportunities. Online job boards should be an integral part of your search, but it should not the only avenue you focus on. Try setting up email alerts for new job postings that meet your criteria and trying new job search outlets. Aside from online job boards and social media, you can also attend networking events and job fairs to get in touch with recruiters. Diversifying your search will increase your chances of landing the job you want.

Read time wasters 3-5 and the complete Careerealism article at

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

How To Create A Resume With Impact: Duties Vs. Results

When preparing your resume, remember this is a document to market your experience and skills, and showcase what you have to offer. Your resume is much more effective and attractive to employers when it demonstrates what you have achieved with your previous experiences and what you can potentially achieve for the new employer.

Unfortunately, a bunch of the resumes employers receive today still read like a laundry list of duties. Avoid this common mistake with the tips below to create a resume with impact.

Don’t state the obvious
If you’re simply describing your job duties on your resume – a generic job description – there’s likely going to be little interest from employers. Although today’s Applicant Tracking Systems (the software that reads and ranks resumes) will need this information, employers really need to know how you performed against goals or your peers.

Quantify and qualify accomplishments
Your accomplishments on the job are what will differentiate you from the next candidate. It’s also what will help demonstrate you are the best candidate for the job. So for instance, if you have a career in sales, rather than state the obvious: “Contact prospective customers to introduce new product releases.” 

Tie in results you’ve achieved. A more effective statement would read: “Initiated contact with 
prospective customers on new product releases and secured sales contracts, ranking as the top sales person of the year.” This latter statement provides insight to why you make a great candidate for a job in sales.

Bad: “Contact prospective customers to introduce new product releases.”
Good: “Initiated contact with prospective customers on new product releases and secured sales contracts, ranking as the top sales person of the year.”

If you are in a position that does not quantify accomplishments, then consider these questions:

7 Secrets to Attracting Recruiters to Your Linkedin Profile

If you're not getting inMails or phone calls from recruiters, then you may want to pay attention to this article.

Gone are days when you need to apply for jobs.
Now jobs come to you when you know how to attract recruiters to your Linkedin profile!
Let me share seven secrets to attracting recruiters to your Linkedin profile starting today.

1) Know How Boolean Search Works

Did you know recruiters use boolean search to pull up relevant Linkedin profiles every day?

Let's say a recruiter is looking for a Financial Accountant with CGA designation who has experience in financial reporting.

The following is a boolean search string a recruiter may plug in at the backend of Linkedin to pull up relevant profiles:

("Financial Accountant") AND (CGA) AND ("Financial Reporting")

Now if you're a financial accountant with that background and I run this search on Linkedin right now, will I find you on the 1st page of my search?

If not, then you got some work to do on your Linkedin profile.

Sprinkle these three keywords (Financial Accountant, CGA, and Financial Reporting) in the following sections of your Linkedin profile to see immediate results:
  • Headline right below your name
  • Summary section
  • Job titles and descriptions
  • Education
  • Skills
Action Steps:
  • Review job postings you want to compete for in the near future
  • Pick two to three keywords recruiters will use to pull up relevant Linkedin profiles
  • Sprinkle those keywords throughout your Linkedin profile so you rank high in search.
2) Tell Recruiters Who You Are

Don't waste recruiters time by making them guess who you are.
Use your headline right below your name to communicate who you are.
Make sure to use one or more of your keywords as you introduce yourself.

This is where you make your first impression.
So make it count!

3) Wow Recruiters With Your Summary - Read more about #3, 4-7, and the complete article

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

For the Perfect Resume: Dump These 7 Tired Cliches

by Brazen Careerist

You may think your resume is already tip top, but put yourself in the shoes of a recruiter, who looks at hundreds of resumes every day. To them, most look and sound exactly like all the other nondescript resumes in their pile.

If you’re using the same tired phrases as everyone else, you’re not as exciting — or as hireable — as you thought you were.

A recruiter spends an average of six to 10 seconds per resume. Do you really want to waste even one of those precious milliseconds with a single word that doesn’t add to your credibility?

Nix these seven clichés from your resume, and you’ll be well on your way to grabbing the recruiter’s attention — and staying out of the “no thanks” pile, once and for all.

1. Replace Qualitative with Quantitative

Your resume will read like a work of fiction when you use cliché phrases like “seasoned manager” or “influential leader” without an accompanying explanation.

Drop the qualitative description and add years of experience, job-specific technical skills and quantifiable achievements instead. Better yet, add graphs and other visuals to show what you’ve accomplished in previous jobs.

Not many applicants use visuals, but these graphics do more than add aesthetic appeal to your resume — visuals can add an air of credibility to your claims, which helps the recruiter believe you.

2. Cut out “Creative”

“Creative” might seem like the perfect word to describe your unique personality. Unfortunately, thousands of other applicants think the same thing; “creative” was the top buzzword for two years in LinkedIn’s annual survey of clichés.

Recruiters have seen this word so much they will completely gloss over whatever comes next.

Instead of telling the recruiter you’re creative, show them evidence of your creativity. Write a compelling cover letter or create a video resume to narrate the highlights of your career. Add interesting (nice-to-know, but not-so-personal) tidbits about yourself, and you’ll have a show-stopping resume and cover letter in one neat little package.

Read all 7 tired cliches and the complete article

Ten Ways To Use LinkedIn In Your Job Search

Liz Ryan

LinkedIn is an insanely useful tool for every working person, not to mention every job-seeker and student. The only unfortunate thing about LinkedIn as a job search tool is that most of what’s powerful about LinkedIn as a job-search tool is not obvious to the casual LinkedIn user.

If the only thing you’re doing on LinkedIn is updating your profile every now and then and waiting for the headhunters and recruiting managers to reach out, you’re missing the boat.

LinkedIn is a massive database, and within its gazillions of records are critical elements in your job-search plan and strategy. Let’s say that you heard about a growing company in your city and wondered whether they might need someone like you.

Before LinkedIn, you would have had to call or write to the company, search your contacts to see if any of your friends might know someone who works there, or call the front desk and ask for HR. Those are all slow, cumbersome and less-than-highly-effective research methods.

Your LinkedIn membership eliminates the need for that kind of tedious legwork.Let’s call our imaginary company Angry Chocolates. You’re a Marketing guy, Manager level, and you’re curious whether Angry Chocolates might be able to use a guy like you. You hop on LinkedIn and conduct a search on Angry Chocolates to see how folks in your network are connected to the company. Hurrah!

You don’t know anybody who actually works there, but one of your first-degree contacts did a consulting project for Angry Chocolates and another two first-degree homies have friends who work there. You’re already way ahead of the networking-into-your-next-job game!

Now you check out the Angry Chocolates leadership team via their own LinkedIn profiles. What do you find? One of them went to your undergraduate alma mater. That means that the Alumni Office can put you in touch with him, if you didn’t feel comfortable reaching out yourself. (And why shouldn’t you? Alumni connections are one of the pillars of networking.) One of the executives at Angry is on the Board of Directors of a not-for-profit where your fiancee’s mom is a staff member.

Do you remember those see-through models of people, about a foot high, made of plastic parts that fit together and come apart to show kids how the human skeleton fits into the nervous system and the organs? LinkedIn makes your network visible the same way those anatomic models make human anatomy visible.

Using LinkedIn, you can see who your friends know, where people have been and what they’re interested in, what people are talking about and who’s gone from Company to Company B. If you’re paying attention, LinkedIn can absorb at least thirty percent of your job-search-related research load. LinkedIn can save you hours that you used to have to spend at the library or on some corporate database, researching who’s who and who’s where. It’s a new day! LinkedIn is a job-seeker’s best friend.

Here are ten ways to use LinkedIn in your job search:

1) Make Your Headline Count

Your LinkedIn headline (just below your name) is your online brand, because your name and your headline are the only things a LinkedIn user will see when s/he conducts a search on the LinkedIn database and your profile comes up as one of the search returns. Your headline, your name and your profile photo are the only cues that user will get before deciding whether or not to click through your headline to your full profile. Make your headline count!

“Marketer seeking next opportunity” is weak, but “Consumer Products Marketer Looking for Small Brand to Make Big” tells your next boss what you plan to deliver.

6) Find Your Hiring Manager
If you want to avoid the Black Hole of Death recruiting portals, you’ve got to know who your hiring manager is in any organization you’re targeting. It’s easy to find your hiring manager in all but the most enormous and bureaucratic organizations, where half the people walking around are called Program Manager, Project Manager or Director of Special Projects.

To find your hiring manager on LinkedIn, just use the Advanced People Search feature (click on the word Advanced next to the search bar at the top of the page) with your target company name filled in and the most likely title for your hiring manager as a second search term.

If you’re a Marketing person, your hiring manager could be Angry Chocolates’ Marketing Director or Marketing VP, for instance.  Once you’ve got your hiring manager’s name, you can send him or her a paper Pain Letter via snail mail with your Human-Voiced Resume and avoid the Black Hole part of the process altogether!

Read all 10 ways and the complete Forbes article

Monday, May 19, 2014

The Top 10 LinkedIn Facts and Figures in 2014 You Need To Know

How to Get Your Resume Past an Applicant Tracking System (ATS)

By Frances Chaves

If you apply for a position with a large company, your resume will probably be scanned electronically by an Applicant Tracking System or ATS. According to one ATS company, 75 percent of all resumes submitted do not make it past the screening, no matter how qualified the candidate may be. What can you do to make sure that your resume makes it past the ATS and into the hands of the recruiter or hiring manager?

ATS systems work by scanning your resume, removing styling and parsing or breaking down the text into recognized strings of characters for further analysis. The parser reorganizes pieces of the resume into categories such as education, contact information, skills, and work experience. The program then assigns a value on a scale of 0 to 100, depending on the frequency of keywords from the original job description and your years of experience. The parser then sends your score and the condensed version of your resume to the recruiter or human resources officer. If you get a high enough score, you will probably be invited to an interview. For a reproduction of the ATS report sent to the recruiter/HR, go to:

In the past, ATS systems counted keywords. Now the technology is more sophisticated. Loading up your resume with keywords is no longer enough to ensure a high score. Today’s ATS systems look for semantic matches. These are terms related to the keywords contextually and conceptually.

Here are some ways to get a higher score for your resume:

Resume Content

• Include the same words from the job description in your resume, including job title, description headlines, words used more than twice, and those used to describe the criteria for success in the position.
• Include secondary resume keywords, such as the hiring company’s competitors or experience you have with similar or competitive brands.

Resume format
• Never send your resume as a PDF because ATS systems lack a standard way to structure PDF documents.
• Do not use background images or photos which can block the ATS and make your resume unreadable.
• Use bulleted lists, not paragraphs which are harder for the ATS to decipher.

Read more on these two areas and the complete article

**  I feel the formatting is the most important part as I see too many resumes that come into the different ATSs that are unreadable.  It won't matter how well you choose your content if the system can't read it.

Friday, May 16, 2014

5 Ideas for Job Seekers Who Think Outside the Box

Have you submitted your résumé to hundreds of jobs and gotten no response? Maybe you’ve tried networking and are disappointed in the lack of leads that ensued. There is nothing more frustrating than the rejection and indifference experienced during a job search. The following ideas may just do the trick, help you stand out and get the attention you want. These are geared toward job seekers who are ready, willing and able to put in the extra effort to secure a job and who are not afraid to try new strategies to stand out and be memorable. 

1. Show your creativity: Create an infographic résumé. 
Infographics are popular marketing tools and offer another way to present your experience. Design skills are not necessarily required. For example, if you already have a LinkedIn profile, you can convert it into an infographic using no-cost online tools such as, ResumUP or one offered by and Kelly Services, Inc. If you want to create an infographic using other data, check out Piktochart or An infographic résumé is a newer concept and you may want to see examples to generate ideas of what to include before you embark on your own. Search Google images or Pinterest, and keep in mind that an infographic isn't a substitute for a text résumé. Most recruiters prefer to see the traditional format. You can, however, use your infographic during networking meetings or as a follow-up after a meeting. Don’t forget to embed your infographic résumé in your LinkedIn profile's summary section to catch attention.

2. Don’t wait for the interview: Shoot a video.
Find out more about #2, Ideas 3-5, and the complete USNews article

3 Ways To Get People To Refer Your Resume Using LinkedIn

“If you know someone, have them help you make a connection. One way someone will get my attention is if someone meaningful at the company puts a resume in front of me. This resume has a sure shot of getting looked at.” - Marnie Woodward, HR Bank of America

To be forthcoming, you won’t find anything in this article that involves applying for random jobs on LinkedIn. Here are some tips on how to get people to refer your resume using LinkedIn…

1) Search By Company And Connect With Employees
Objective: Get in touch with someone from the company you want to work for and have him or her connect you with someone from that company who can better assist you in your job search.
  1. Enter the company you are interested in working for in the search box.
  2. Right away you should see employees from that company appear in the search results, along your degree of connection with them. For instance, a 3rd degree connection represents someone who has connections who are connected to your direct connections.
  3. Connect with as many people as you can from the company (past or present).
  4. Invite them to connect as a “friend,” select the box that says “Include a personal note,” then delete the generic message and write a two or three sentence message to them.
For example: “Hi John, I am really impressed by your resume. How do you like working for XYZ Company? I would love to chat with you for 5 minutes about what you do from day to day. Look forward to hearing from you! Thanks, Jane.”

Note: Once one person connects with you from the company, it will improve your success rate of connections with other employees, as you’ll now be a 2nd connection.
  1. When you receive a response to your intro message, set up a time to talk with them for a quick phone call.
  2. If someone connects with you, but doesn’t message you back (they probably didn’t see your message in the original invitation), send them a short four sentence message reiterating the original, that you would like to get on a quick phone call with them.
  3. The phone call! It is all about them! You want them to talk about themselves and their own experiences the whole time. This conversation is not about you or asking for anything. How would you like it if a random person asked you for something? (Especially for a favor related to your place of employment?) More often than not, at the end of the conversation, if the conversation went well you’ll be asked what you are interested in and whether you need their help. That is your gold!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The Secret to Building a LinkedIn Profile That Gets Results - 7 Steps

By Lily Zhang

Everyone is on LinkedIn now. With over 300 million users and growing, you probably already know that this is where you want to be to manage your professional reputation. But with so much competition out there, how do you go about grabbing the attention of recruiters?

The best way to raise your visibility among your peers and have a knockout profile is by creating a cohesive, compelling brand for yourself on LinkedIn.

What exactly does that mean? In a nutshell, when you’re branding yourself, you’re suggesting a unique promise of value that separates you from your peers—you are someone or do something that’s different than everyone else out there. And then you’re communicating it on LinkedIn—and to the world.

1) How to Do It

The majority of your work actually involves figuring out what your brand is first. While there’s a lot of advice out there on how to develop a personal brand, the golden rule is to be authentic.

Think about what really matters to you: your vision, purpose, value, and passion. Know what you have in common with your peers and competitors, but also what makes you stand out. For instance, if you’re in business development, do you specialize in managing top clients, or are you the guy who creates connections out of nothing? Then, get external feedback: What do other people know about you? What do they think makes you unique among others they’ve worked and interacted with?

This initial groundwork can take time, but once you’ve done it, see how you can connect your self-perception, the perceptions of others, what makes you compelling, and your promise of value together. Then (and here’s the fun part), figure out how to roll it all up in one sentence—a pithy, one-line, statement that sums up your personal brand. Here are a few examples:
  • Extroverted office manager with passion for event planning, from office holiday parties to company retreats employees actually look forward to
  • Sports marketing professional with expertise in social media analytics and Millennials
  • Coder with a conscience: Solving problems in healthcare with technology
This step can be hard to get right, but once you do, it’ll be easy to turn it into elevator pitches—and, of course, your LinkedIn profile.

(For more on this process, read about the first step to building your personal brand.)

2) Express Your Brand - read more about #2, steps 3-7, and the complete article

6 Avoidable Job Interview Mistakes (And What to Do Instead)

by Nicole Fallon

There's no denying that a job interview can be incredibly stressful. Most candidates secretly fear that nerves will get the best of them, making them lose their composure and, ultimately, the job.
One misstep during an interview doesn't necessarily mean you're out the door, but it's always best to make sure you're prepared to avoid mistakes. Two hiring experts shared six things you shouldn't do during a job interview, and what you should be doing instead:

Mistake No. 1: Pretending you can do it all. One common interview mistake is telling the hiring manager that you are good at or can do any task he or she describes, even if you can't. John Mahony, COO of staffing agency Kavaliro, said that honesty is the best policy. 
"In most cases, managers are looking for individuals that can stand out in a few specific areas," Mahony told Business News Daily. "Be honest in an interview and know your strengths and weaknesses. If you sell yourself on something you are not, you will be exposed very quickly if you do get the job."  

Monday, May 12, 2014

Pleasantly Persistent: 5 Rules for Effectively Following Up During Your Job Search

By Elliott Bell

I had a conversation with a friend the other day about his job search that went something like this:

Friend: I wrote to him last week and still haven’t heard back. It’s so frustrating.

Me: Why not follow up and check in?

Friend: I don’t want to be annoying.

I understand the fear. No one wants to be annoying or bothersome to a professional contact, especially when you want a job, meeting, sales dollars, or something else very important from that person.
But here’s the rub. The average person can get a few hundred emails a day. That makes it pretty tough to respond to all of them, and things naturally fall to the bottom of the list. If you don’t get a response, it doesn’t mean that someone’s ignoring you—it just may mean that he or she is too busy.

So, to the question: Should you follow up? Absolutely. In fact, it’s your job. And how often should you do so? My philosophy is: As many times as it takes. The important thing is to do it the right way. Or, as I call it, to be “pleasantly persistent.”

Here are a few tips on how to (nicely) follow up with that hiring manager, sales lead, or VIP—and get the answer you’re looking for.

Rule 1: Be Overly Polite and Humble

That seems obvious enough, but a lot of people take it personally when they don’t hear back from someone right away. Resist the urge to get upset or mad, and never take your feelings out in an email, saying something like, “You haven’t responded yet,” or “You ignored my first email.” Just maintain an extremely polite tone throughout the entire email thread. Showing that you’re friendly and that you understand how busy your contact is is a good way to keep him or her interested (and not mad).

Rule 2: Persistent Doesn’t Mean Every Day

Monday, May 5, 2014

4 Ways You Are Limiting Yourself on LinkedIn


LinkedIn claims to be the “world’s largest professional network” and it is hard to deny that.  A LinkedIn profile has become the electronic version of one’s resume. In addition to that, it allows you to highlight your personality and, as an extension of you,  is a hub for your professional network.  It allows you to create and build professional relationships and facilitates the sharing of knowledge and insight via articles and group discussions.

If you take advantage of it, it is a powerful tool that can enhance your professional situation. But are you taking full advantage of it?

Here are 4 ways you may be limiting yourself on LinkedIn:
1. You’re not taking advantage of opportunities to continue the conversation

How many times do you connect with someone on LinkedIn and the communication ends there?  You press “Send invitation” or “Accept” and then there’s silence.  Networks like LinkedIn make it easy to connect with others beyond your geographic location but maintaining that relationship comes with time and effort on your part.  This is the same was with offline relationships.  Make an effort to continue the conversation with your connections by touching base throughout the year, find out what they’re up to, find out what issues they could use help with and what their latest accomplishments are. Go a little deeper than waiting for periodic updates on your homepage.

2. You’re uncomfortable selling yourself

Many of us, especially women, have been taught to be humble and to not brag.  But is it bragging if you’re simply stating a fact?  I’d agree that how tact is applied affects how the information you’re sharing about yourself is perceive.  So provided it is done gracefully, I think it is important to share your achievements. At the very least, we’re each responsible for being our biggest proponent and supporter.  If you’re not able to exhibit confidence in yourself and your abilities, how do you expect sponsors to feel comfortable vouching for you at the decision-making table? It all starts with you. And if you don’t share your progress with those around you, the world may never know about the impact you’re making day-to-day.