Friday, January 30, 2015

3 Ways to Use LinkedIn to Build Your Career

Heather R. Huhman

In a world where social media allows us to connect with almost everyone in the free world instantaneously, one platform dominates the professional networking space. Its name? LinkedIn.

By now, most people in the professional world have heard of LinkedIn. Job seekers know it can help them find a career, but many don’t know how to maximize their use of the platform. This hurts their chances of standing out to the almost 50 percent of companies that solely use it in their social recruiting practices.

When employers look for potential candidates on LinkedIn, there are a multitude of ways they narrow down the pool. Check out these three tips to help you get the most out of your LinkedIn profile, increase your chances of getting noticed by recruiters, and become a better proactive job seeker. 

Apply for jobs

LinkedIn not only connects people in order to build their network, but also it allows you to find and apply for jobs directly through the site! Just like any other job board, you can search for the exact job you want and discover employers from around the world. The benefit for job searching through LinkedIn: it allows employers and job seekers near-instant access to connect and gather information about each other, and gives candidates more insight into the company and its employees.

If you make a list of companies you want to work for (which you should, if you haven’t), LinkedIn lets you follow the company pages of those that have one. On those pages, companies often exclusively post jobs, since they know it will reach people who have already vested interest in their organization by following them in the first place. This gives you access to positions you never would have known existed and also lets you engage/connect with employees in those organizations.

When you apply for a job on LinkedIn, it’s important to read the entire job posting. Doing so lets you get a feel for what exactly they’re seeking so you can tailor your application specifically to the posting.

Since the LinkedIn application system only lets you attach a resume when applying, many companies give specific instructions for how they want candidates to apply in order to get more information. By not doing so, you’re probably not going to get considered for the job, since they now know you just blindly applied without following the application instructions.

Also, don’t just apply to every job posting because it’s so easy — chances are, it won’t get noticed.

6 Job Search Tweaks To Find Work In 2015

Thinking of looking for a job in 2015?

Well, I’ve got some good news for you. For the first time in a long time, you just might have the upper hand.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics just announced that 2014 was the best year for hiring since 1999 and that the unemployment rate fell from 5.8% to 5.6% (employers added 252,000 jobs in December). Better still, 36% of employers plan to increase their full-time staff in 2015, according to a CareerBuilder survey.

Wages are on the upswing, too. Bernard Baumohl, chief global economist for The Economic Outlook Group, told USA TODAY that he forecasts average annual wage growth rising to perhaps 3% by midyear (compared to 2.4% last year).

Of course, just because firms, nonprofits and government agencies are hiring doesn’t mean the job search has gotten any easier or that you have any more time to look for work. So to help you take advantage of the improving job market in your limited spare time, here are six ways to improve your search with just a few hours of work:

3. Set-up Google alerts for a target list of three to five employers where you’d like to work. This way, you’ll be on top of breaking news, job postings and business opportunities long before your competition without having to devote hours to research. And if you get called in for an interview, the knowledge you’ve gained about a prospective employer’s challenges and strategic plans will help you come across as a highly effective candidate.

4. Add two or three job-search apps onto your smartphone. These days, the sooner you respond to a job posting, the better your chances of getting hired. Mobile job-search apps can cut your response time drastically. So download a few from job-posting aggregator sites such as or Then, when you’ve got time to kill, you can easily use your phone for something more productive than reading the latest Facebook gossip.

The Next Avenue blog post I wrote, “8 Great Apps to Help You Land a Job” can help you find the right apps for your search.

5. Create a list of at least three people you think could help your job-search efforts in 2015. We all know that networking is the best way to find new jobs, but real networking is about long-term relationship building, not quick transactional exchanges. It is far more powerful to have a few strong supporters in your network (who’ll go to bat for you when there’s an opening where they work), than many lukewarm connections.

As you’re coming up with a shortlist of people who could accelerate your job search, think about ones at employers where you might like to work, leaders in your target industries or former colleagues you haven’t kept in touch with. Just remember: Networking works best when you approach it with the attitude of helping others before you expect help.

Once you’ve identified your target list, send those people useful articles, offer to connect them to your other contacts and share their content on social media. These gestures will help you build meaningful business relationships, which should lead to referrals for job opportunities.

See all 6 tweaks and the complete article

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

10 LinkedIn mistakes that will cost you a job

By J. Barbush

Remember when networking was something you did with your dad or mom and their circle? Your parents would mention to their friends, "Did you know my daughter is interested in advertising?"

Nowadays you don't need a parental circle, or even your parents, to connect to people who can help with your career.

You do need a plan. Now that you can contact people so easily on LinkedIn, how will you use that access?

LinkedIn adds texture to a boring résumé. It brings your interests, charities, and portfolio to life in one place.

But it's also easy to overindulge—like a college freshman at his or her first kegger—and embarrass yourself. Making a silly mistake on Facebook is one thing. Embarrassing yourself on LinkedIn could cost you a job or career.

Here are some common mistakes to avoid on LinkedIn:

Mistake No. 1: You don't consider yourself a product.
Deconstruct what you like about your favorite brands. Are they funny, clever, consistent? Do they always deliver on their identities? Do they innovate? Do they have a competitive advantage? Keeping those considerations in mind will help you build a simple, tailored, smart profile.

Once you determine your personal product voice, incorporate it into your profile. Lead with a concise, well-written summary that details your capabilities and what you can contribute.

Mistake No. 3: You're too social.
Stop thinking of LinkedIn as a social network. It's a professional network. There's a big difference in how you approach a social dinner versus a business dinner, right?

Use this analogy. Rather than focus on connecting with buddies, zero in on connecting with people you just met at a conference. You may not be as "social" with them as with your college buddies, but you do have a common business interest that will serve you much better on this platform.

Your headshot should also be professional. A suggestive shot or one that shows you partying won't go over well in human resources. 

See all 10 mistakes and the complete article

8 Ingredients for Job Search Success

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

5 LinkedIn Mistakes That Are Hurting Your Job Search

Don Goodman

Job searching on LinkedIn offers the job seeker multiple benefits. Most importantly, internal and external recruiters use it to source talent. It is also helps you network – connecting with contacts who may help with identifying job opportunities, referrals, and offer advice and information.

Take care to manage your Linkedin profile properly. Mistakes can hurt your job search and your professional image. Consider these tips on what you shouldn’t do on LinkedIn.

1. Don’t leave your sub-headline to read your job title.

By default, your current job title is the default sub-headline (the text that appears under your name) for your profile. It typically reads something like Accountant at 123 Company. That doesn’t tell the employer much upfront. The sub-headline is one of several important areas that drive keyword density, so entice potential employers and recruiters to click on your profile by putting in a personal branding statement like Tax Compliance Specialist & Strategic Business Consultant for Fortune 500 Companies.

4. Don’t accept every connection that comes your way.

The bigger the network, the better it looks, right? Not exactly when you’re a job seeker. Yes, it’s good to have a big network of connections, but it also has to be appropriate connections. You want to show potential employers and recruiters that you have connections in the field and industry. For instance, if you are vying for a job in health care business development but your profile shows 90% of your connections are made up of contacts in random fields and industries, it’s not exactly informing employers and recruiters that you’re well-connected for the job.

See all 5 Mistakes and the complete Careerealism article

You Are 5 Steps Away from Finding a Job with Twitter

Marissa Venturella

You can follow your favorite celebrities and participate in clever hashtag games with a Twitter account, but Twitter can also be much more than an entertaining site you compulsively check. Rather than spending 20 minutes racking your brain for the most clever and creative way to explain what you are doing in 140 characters or less, follow the five tips below to use your Twitter account to find your next job.

1. Make your profile employer-friendly.
Your twitter handle should be professional. Many people in the industry suggest using some variation of your name. You can also use your biography to briefly state your credentials or the type of job you are looking for. Lastly, make your background relevant to your job search. Your background can be a great way to express yourself in an area other than the bio. For examples and inspirations check out this Mashable article.

2. Tweet about things relevant to your job search.

If you participate in an activity that relates to your potential future job or finally mastered that pesky skill that was holding you back, tweet about it. Let prospective employers know you are actively improving yourself and your skills in preparation for a new job. Also, simply tell people you are searching for a job. The Twitterverse is expansive so surely somebody will be able to help.

Steps 3-5 and the complete article

Monday, January 26, 2015

10 Ways to Commit to LinkedIn

Thursday, January 22, 2015

6 tips on How to Be a Successful LinkedIn Groupie

Jeff Lipschultz

Having a LinkedIn profile is a good start to connecting with recruiters and hiring managers, but you must do more than just create an account and list a few jobs in your profile.

A few of my previous articles highlight some of the key tasks to getting noticed on LinkedIn: How to Be LinkedIn to Recruiters and How to Add Recruiters to Your LinkedIn Network. Included in these articles are mentions on being part of Groups. Beyond what is suggested in those articles, I’d like to share some more ideas on Group participation.

No Spam

Although this should be obvious, Group leaders are looking for relevant posts to attract and keep Group members. They will block you if you continually just submit generic links, mundane information that has little to do with the intent of the Group, and worse yet, promotions of your services (there is a separate section for this called Promotions).


Groups allow for recruiters to connect with you with some common bond - instead of just sending you a generic InMail message. When recruiters leverage LinkedIn to find candidates, they use key words (which should be in your profile) to find the right candidates.

When you show up in a Group, you two already have something in common (the Group), and you have moved towards the top of the list for getting reviewed and possibly contacted. Simply put, you’re easier to interact with - even more than a third-level connection.

Feel free to connect with any recruiter in a Group that looks to be working within your field. They have selected this Group for a reason - they too, want to be found. If they are in a Java Programming Group, generally, it is not because they want to learn more about coding in Java. They want to network with Java experts.

See all 6 tips and the complete article

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

5 Mistakes You Should NEVER Make on a Cover Letter

Matthew Crist

You don’t get a second chance to make a great first impression and when it comes to applying for a job your cover letter is usually the first thing most employers will see. This is your chance to say “Hi, I’m here and you should really hire me” and any error will be the written equivalent of tripping over as you enter the room or spilling tea all over the boss.

It says everything about you right from the start – and that could be the bad as well as the good. It’s true that we can learn from our mistakes, but you really don’t want the application for the job of your dreams being the place to make them, do you? So ensure you don’t make them in the first place and enhance your chances of being invited for an interview by making sure your initial application stage is spot on!

Here are some of the most common – yet avoidable – cover letter mistakes that you need to guarantee you don’t make when applying for your dream job:

3) Not writing enough:

The secret to a great cover letter is getting the balance just right. Too long and you will lose the attention of the person writing it (they might receive hundreds of letters for just one job), too short and it won’t say enough about you to really catch their eye. Aim for around 200-250 words maximum and pick out some of the key reasons you feel you are the ideal candidate for the job, trying to focus on one major success story you are particularly proud of. “I successfully increased revenue by 200% during my time at the company”, for example.

If your letter is good enough then you’ll have the opportunity to tell them more about yourself at the interview stage.

4) Using generic text (To Whom It May Concern):

Whatever you do never use these five little words to address a cover letter. And come to think of it, Dear Sir/Madam isn’t much better either.

Do whatever you can to find out the hiring manager’s name, and address your letter to that person directly. Anything else will make you appear lazy and less than bothered if you get the job anyway.

Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and ask who it is that’s hiring for this position. You might get passed from pillar to post initially but remember, it’s a real person you are trying to impress here and little details like this can make a huge difference.

See all 5 mistakes and the complete TheUndercoverRecruiter article

7 Essential LinkedIn Stats: When To Post, What To Post, How To Improve

A quick glance at a chart of the Internet’s fastest-growing social networks reveals what you likely already knew (Instagram is growing like mad) and what might be a surprise: LinkedIn is the third-fastest-growing social network.

We at the Buffer blog can vouch for LinkedIn’s growth as our blog has experienced a swell in LinkedIn referral traffic over the past year, up 4,000 percent from last year at this time. Part of that has to do with our emphasis on updates and sharing at LinkedIn, another part has to do with the popularity of LinkedIn contributing a larger audience and more eyes to our content. Together, these factors have made LinkedIn a great source of visitors for our blog, and I’d imagine you might see a similar impact on your own site.

So the question becomes: How best to take advantage of this expanding interest in LinkedIn? Though the network isn’t analyzed in quite the same detail as Facebook and Twitter, there still exist several stats and tidbits that can help you improve your LinkedIn marketing and engage with your followers.

1. LinkedIn sends nearly four times more people to your homepage than Twitter and Facebook

Twitter and Facebook may reign when it comes to social sharing of stories, blog posts, and visual media, but when it comes to direct traffic to your main site, LinkedIn is far and away the No. 1 social referral source.
Econsultancy reported this gap based on a two-year research study involving 2 million monthly visits to 60 corporate websites. LinkedIn’s referrals, which accounted for nearly two-thirds of all social referrals to corporate homepages, nearly quadrupled the second-place Facebook.

  • LinkedIn: 64% of social referrals to corporate homepage
  • Facebook: 17%
  • Twitter: 14%

3. Avoid evenings, late afternoons, and weekends

If you want to reach the largest number of users with your content, it makes sense to publish when people are around. LinkedIn has found their busiest times to be morning and midday, Monday through Friday. Business hours, in general, have the largest maximum reach, so you don’t have to be too particular about specific times. Test what performs best for you.
Time of day LinkedIn
What this means:
Be sure your posting schedule matches up with the rhythms of the LinkedIn audience. If you happen to curate your content in the evenings, you can use Buffer to schedule your posts to go live the following day at the time you choose.

See all 7 stats and the complete buffersocial article

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

10 Assumptions You Make That Kill Your Resume

By Lisa Rangel

Myth 2: Your resume needs charts and graphs to be impressive.

While I put charts and graphs in executive resumes for some of my clients, it is not the norm. Most clients can have achievements properly outlined in well-written content. Charts and graphs are often not digested by applicant tracking systems (ATS).

Myth 4: You Should put all of your experience on your resume

As a general rule, I do not go back more than 15 years. Even if what you did 25 years ago is applicable to what you are targeting today, no company will hire you for what you did 25 years ago. I believe, in most cases, putting 20+ years experience on your resume only dates you and does not really help your candidacy.

Myth 6: A great resume is the magic elixir to landing a job.

A great resume with an excellent job search plan, robust network, superb follow-up skills and an amazing attitude land you a job. The most fabulous resume alone will not get you a job.

See all 10 assumptions and the complete FastCompany article

Monday, January 19, 2015

3 Ways To Supercharge Your LinkedIn Recommendations

Cheryl Simpson

Just how important are LinkedIn recommendations? No one outside of LinkedIn’s leadership can answer that question definitively, but since this function continues to exist long after other features have gone the way of the dodo bird, I think it’s safe to assume that LinkedIn and its clients (namely recruiters and hiring companies) find them helpful.

I have repeatedly asked all the recruiters I know what they think of recommendations, and they generally say some version of the same thing: “LinkedIn recommendations won’t make or break someone’s candidacy, but I consistently read them and attest that my opinion of a candidate can be shaped by them.”

If there is any chance at all that recommendations can shape a recruiter’s or hiring executive’s opinion of your candidacy, then they are worth pursuing in a strategic way.
While we don’t know the search algorithm LinkedIn uses to analyze candidate profiles on behalf of recruiters and hiring executives, we do know that keywords play a key role. Keywords are also critical in shaping the perceptions of recruiters and hiring managers.

To see what I’m driving at, try this quick experiment. Select a keyword that you are skilled in – let’s say “B2B sales.” Input that example in the search line at the top of your screen on LinkedIn. Your search will turn up profiles with that keyword highlighted each time it is used. Now, here’s the important thing to notice: LinkedIn also highlights this keyword in the recommendations section of each profile in your search results.

Which brings me to the issue of how supercharge your profile via the recommendations sections. There are three simple steps to take:

1. Weave industry-specific keywords into each recommendation you receive.

  • Select 1-3 (no more) critical keywords for your industry that you already stress throughout your profile.
  • Identify a specific problem, project, challenge, or initiative you worked on which clearly demonstrates these skills.
  • When you request or are offered a recommendation, request that they focus their comments on the 1-3 keywords you selected above and use the problem, project, or initiative you identified as the focal point for their recommendation.
  • Review the recommendation when it’s received. Request text changes if needed to tighten the keyword and achievement content. Make sure specific results are included if at all possible. Ask the recommender to accept the changes and then add the recommendation to your profile.
  • For recommendations you have already received, review them to see where specific key skills or projects can be added to deepen the content’s relevance to your career goals.
  • Why is this step important? Because LinkedIn counts keywords used in recommendations when they rank order your profile in recruiter and company search results. Using your strongest keywords in recommendations is a hidden way to boost your profile ranking and cultivate more career opportunities.

Only accept and give recommendations from people that you actually know or have worked with.

Top Five Mistakes Job Seekers Make

Hunting for a job is not the easiest thing to do. It's stressful, making it easy to rush the process. When you're not employed, it's normal to feel anxious about the future. However, think logically about the job seeking process. You want to give yourself the best chance of achieving your final goal; getting hired by a company you respect, for a position you're excited about.

Top Five Mistakes Job Seekers Make
When looking for a job, there are common mistakes made. You may be guilty of some of these mistakes without even knowing. Once you understand the most common mistakes, you can focus on areas that will ensure success. You can find a position that fits your skill set and experience, you just need to know where to look.

Mistake Four: Not researching the company
When you're approaching a company that you would like to work for, make sure you have done your research. Take the time needed in order to gain crucial information. What's the company's mission? What strengths do they display, and do you notice any weaknesses? If so, can you add something of value to those weaknesses?

Basically, do your homework. Show the company that you are driven and thorough. If you understand the vision and mission of the company, you can get much further within an interview. If you can suggest anything to benefit the company, do so. This will be sure to impress, showing that you're a forward thinker.

Mistake Five: Only have one copy of your CV
When job hunting, you'll be applying to multiple companies. Instead of blasting out tons of generic CV's, focus on specifics. Each company will be looking for different things. They will have different visions, strengths, and dynamics. When companies differ, how can you maintain one, consistent CV? This is most certainly a mistake that many individuals make.

Each CV should reflect you, relating to the company you're applying for. You want to match your CV's content with what that company is looking for. You may have a wide array of skills and experience; focus on the position you're seeking. Choose set skills and experiences, showing that you're a good match for that particular position. You should also write an informative, specific cover letter.

You can find that job you're looking for, you just need to focus. You do not, and should not settle for a position you're not thrilled to take. You spend a lot of time and energy at work, so put a lot of effort into the job hunting process. Seek out opportunity and act upon it. Avoid the most common mistakes, increasing your chances of success.

Free bonus Mistakes:
Not checking spelling in your resume and application.

Applying for jobs that you aren't even remotely qualified for.  There is a lot of competition for every position so focus your time and energy on those that you can compete for.

Being a secret agent - Tell people that you are looking for a new position.  You never know who might know of a position.  On the flip side don't have it be your only topic of conversation.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

The Pain-Free Guide To Optimizing Your LinkedIn Profile

Melissa Cooper

Is LinkedIn an active part of your job search? Have you maximized your profile, polishing it until it shines?

If not, there’s a good chance you’re behind the curve — by about a decade.

According to LinkedIn, 5.7 billion job-oriented searches were done on the platform in 2012. This means that recruiters in your industry are hopping on the social media giant any time they need to locate new talent.

So, consider what they’re going to find. One professional has a bare-bones LinkedIn profile that includes his name, title, and a basic summary — more or less a copied-and-pasted resume. Another professional includes the same information, but her tone is conversational and full of powerful keywords. She describes past roles in first person, providing insight into critical duties and how she overcame challenges.

Which professional would you pursue?

More importantly, which professional are you?

Spending time on yet another online profile might seem unnecessary, but you should approach it like every other part of the job search. You get your resume just right. You find the perfect interview outfit. Put the same effort into LinkedIn, and recruiters will flock to you.

Here are four steps to optimizing your LinkedIn profile so it stands out to recruiters:

Capitalize on relevant keywords.

Use your areas of expertise and specialties to trigger keyword searches. Let’s say a recruiter in your area needs a copywriter. She’ll get on LinkedIn and search for those parameters. The more times you incorporate “copywriter,” “advertising content,” “campaign development,” and other industry words into your profile, the more likely you’ll appear in her search results.

Don’t just list words in bullet points, though. Expand on your areas of expertise with compelling prose, and position yourself as a subject-matter expert.

Don’t forget about the extras.

Categories, groups, articles, and awards are all extra areas that should shine on your profile. They’re typically farther down the page, so recruiters scrolling down to see them are likely interested in you as a candidate.

The relative importance of each of these areas varies by industry. For example, in nonprofit industries, participation in LinkedIn and physical community groups is important. But in warehouse management, not so much.

Be selective with the categories and groups you choose. Find five to 10 within your industry that garner the most engagement and attention. Besides looking good on your profile, if you become active in these groups and leave insightful comments, you’ll expand your industry knowledge and position yourself as a thought leader. Don’t hesitate to show off your awards, either. Potential employers want to know anything that differentiates you as a candidate.

LinkedIn has leveled the playing field for in-house recruiters and smaller staffing firms alike —providing a powerful pipeline tool once reserved for deep-pocketed agencies. With such a massive pool of potential candidates out there, you need to stand out any way you can. And with a little effort on LinkedIn, it’s not too difficult.

Tips 3,4, and the complete article

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

How To Use The New LinkedIn Custom Search Engine Video

We’ve had more than 2,000 downloads since we’ve launched our new search engine just 48 hours ago! Now it’s time to see exactly how you can use this awesome tool to uncover some of the best hidden profiles on LinkedIn!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

10 Simple Tips to Double your LinkedIn Connections

Sometimes the simplest tactics are forgotten that can make a big difference over time. With the majority of users having less than 500 connections these tips will provide the guidelines to take it beyond the 1,000 barrier.

  • Update your status daily. This could include  posting your latest blog post, sharing an interesting Slideshare presentation or an article that is of value to your industry and niche
  • Participate in (or start) a LinkedIn group discussion weekly
  • Follow influencers and ask or answer questions on their posts

  • Tips 4-10, a great infographic, and the complete Jeff Bullas article

    7 Tools Every Job Seeker Needs Today

    Boost your job search with brand new apps, old-fashioned tactics and everything in between.

    If you are considering a job hunt or revamping your current search in 2015, these are the tools and apps you need to succeed in finding your next opportunity:

    3. An easily accessible, on-the-go résumé. There will be occasions when someone wants you to send your résumé ASAP or when you arrive at an interview and your résumé is MIA. Save your résumés so you can easily access them and share them from your mobile device.

    Quick tip: Being able to access important documents from anywhere is critical not only in your job search, but at work, too. Learn how to save and share documents using Dropbox or Google Drive, which provide free storage and are easily accessible from any device.

    4. Business cards. This may seem old-fashioned, but business cards make life easier. When you meet someone new or reconnect with an old friend, just hand him or her your card at the end of the conversation.

    Quick tip: Your business card need only include the information you want to share: your name, occupation (or desired occupation), phone number, email address and links to any social media profiles, like your LinkedIn URL. If you want to use something more high-tech, try one of the apps that allows you to share your card from your phone, like CardDrop. Or pick up a business card with FullContact’s Card Reader. 

    Monday, January 12, 2015

    Just Because You Have 500+ Connections Doesn't Mean Your Network Is Healthy

    You may run a profitable, fast-growing startup, but without an active network of trusted and influential connections, your business probably isn't living up to its full potential in terms of sales, profits, and growth.

    Referrals and connections are the currency of the business world, and taking the time to build and nurture your network really pays off in the form of new leads, personal opportunities, and good old-fashioned social capital.

    Even if you have 500+ connections on LinkedIn and a Klout score that's through the roof, there's really no way to know how strong your network is without actually testing it.

    Here are three ways to assess your network and ensure your connections are happy and healthy:

    1. Perform a network audit. To check that your network is thriving, set aside some time each month or quarter to ask yourself several key questions about the state of your community interactions and relationships:
    • Who's in your circle? Ideally, you should aim to build a diverse network of professionals across a variety of industries (rather than scores of colleagues from your core industry or the same firm). Check out how well-rounded your network is, and if it seems too one-sided, it might be time to reach out to new colleagues in other industries.
    • How often are you interacting with others? The frequency of interactions with your network can give you an idea of how well it's functioning. If you never seem to receive any queries, recommendations, or invitations, try squeezing in another social event this month, or spend an extra hour making new connections and offering endorsements on LinkedIn.
    • Are you able to call on your network? A healthy, active network will be there for you whenever you need it--not just in times of trouble. Try reaching out, and if nobody responds, you might need to dedicate more time to cultivating those relationships more actively (and with reciprocity) at conferences and industry events.

    Top 15 Resume Trends for 2015

    With the New Year comes new beginnings. This is the perfect time to update and perfect your career development materials. When it comes to resume writing, there are some industry-standard guidelines you should follow to ensure that your resume gets past Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) and into the hands of decision-makers. The following trends have made great strides in 2014 and will continue into 2015 as attention-catchers.

    6.      Quality Over Quantity

    There are so many reasons why resumes over two pages are thrown out. Hiring managers don’t have the time to read every word you write and need to find valuable information quickly. Focusing on your value proposition, or what you will contribute to the company, will win over the amount of responsibilities you have had over the years.

    8.      Listing Achievements Rather Than Duties

    Although duties and responsibilities list what you’re capable of doing, using action words and accomplishments to share how your contributions benefited the company will bring more positive results. Achievements can include statistics from performance reports or awards presented for excellence or leadership.

    15.   Customized Resume For Each Position or Industry

    Away with the generic resume that you hand out to every potential employer. Customizing your resume’s career summary and key skills or core competencies for each position or industry you are applying shows that you are invested in your job-search. Hiring managers can tell the difference between a cookie-cutter resume and one that shows interest.

    See all 15 trends and the complete article

    Friday, January 9, 2015

    The Definitive Social Media To-Do List For Job Seekers

    Tony Restell

    The job market has changed significantly over the last 20 years, and with it, so too have the hiring methods of employers. Traditionally, it’s been newspapers, industry publications, recruiters, and job boards that have provided the ‘lion’s share’ of new hires for employers. However, since the advent of social media, social networking tools have transformed approaches to recruiting and they are now a primary source of new hire leads for employers and recruiters alike.

    The ability to research a candidate market and approach desired hires directly is an approach that corporate recruiters really love – and see produces great results for their business. While this doesn’t mean that you should abandon looking at job boards and industry publications, it’s ever more important that you also incorporate a social strategy into your job search and work on your personal brand management.

    The four key networks that you need to have a presence on in my opinion are LinkedIn, Google+, Twitter, and Facebook. However, it’s also worth bearing in mind that any social networking site and forum where you post personal information and set up a profile may be publicly searchable. Recruiters these days are using ‘People aggregators,’ which are essentially specialized search engines, allowing recruiters to search hundreds of sites for potential hires. With that in mind be sure to keep your profiles safe for work and tailored towards your respective role or industry.

    In this post, I am going to cover the main benefits of joining the ‘big four’ social networks to help you improve your job search and networking capabilities. Bear in mind that like any job search strategy, maintaining a presence on a social network can take some time and it’s up to you to decide where you want to spend yours.


    Twitter offers one of the easiest ways to network with potential employers. Most organizations worth their salt will have a presence on Twitter, as will their individual recruiters. Before you start following and engaging with them, it’s a good idea to build up a profile/brand that shows your interest in the area that you are trying to get work in. Use relevant keywords in your bio to show your particular specialty and follow and engage with other professionals and organizations relevant to your target industry/role.

    Follow and engage with target employers and decision-makers

    Once you’ve built up a reputation, start following employers and decision-makers and monitor their activities, corporate culture, ethos, and upcoming opportunities. Every so often, you may find that they post content that you can engage with, whether that is by Retweeting, Favoriting, or by adding an insightful comment or one that sparks conversation. Make it a regular habit to do this and you’ll be well on your way to prompting the types of conversations that generate job leads and career conversations.

    Read the advice for LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, and the complete Careerealism article

    A 10-Step Guide to Attracting Recruiters on LinkedIn

    With up to 94% of recruiters looking at you on LinkedIn, young careerists must continuously maintain a high-quality profile on the world’s largest professional network. Just as important: attracting the attention of recruiters and employers as they look to fill great positions you just may be interested in!

    This infographic by Armstrong Appointments, with a 10-step guide to optimizing your LinkedIn profile specifically for recruiters, helps us do just that. After all, you want to recruiters to find you even when you aren’t actively looking for your next gig… right?

    Take a look… and then see if maybe your LinkedIn profile couldn’t use a tune-up as we start 2015!

    See all 10 steps and the complete article

    Thursday, January 8, 2015

    23 Tips For Building A Powerful Personal Brand On LinkedIn

    Getting the most out of LinkedIn can be a difficult endeavor. To help you succeed in building an informative and powerful profile, we have compiled a list of the 23 most important personal branding tips to use on this social networking website. Follow these helpful rules to stay relevant and create a lasting impression on LinkedIn. 

    5. Find New Contacts In Your Industry
    Use LinkedIn as your professional social media resource and connect with the top professionals in your industry. Often, you can find these new connections by searching your contacts and looking for similar acquaintances. Reaching out with a question can help start a conversation about your field and be beneficial to both you and the potential new contact. Set a goal for yourself for a specific number of conversations per month with new contacts.

    20. Never Send Messages in Response to Views
    Six words that scare off potential clients or hiring managers: “I see you viewed my profile…” Just because someone is looking at your profile does not mean that they found anything useful. The purpose of your profile is to show people what you have to offer. Either they are just browsing or they didn’t see anything they liked on your profile, but either way, those six words aren’t making things better.

    11. Keep Building Your Professional Network

    Try to make a monthly goal with your LinkedIn by connecting to more colleagues or business associates. By continuing to grow your social network, you are preventing your online presence from becoming stale.

    It’s 2015: Do You Know the 5 NEW Job Search Basics?

    by Mark Babbitt

    “In this economy, what’s the one thing I need to do to stand out?”

    As I speak on campuses around the country, that is the question I get more often than any other. And often, the answer expected is “finish your education” or “follow your passion.”

    But those well-worn cliches are never part of my answer, in large part because a college education no longer makes you employable and that “follow your passion” thing is probably the worst career advice ever given.

    Instead, I answer with the five items that have become the new minimum requirements… the new “job search basics”:

    Present an Amazing LinkedIn Profile

    There are now 36 million Millennials on LinkedIn – a dramatic improvement over just two years ago. And yet, many students and recent grads – about 60% – are still not active on LinkedIn. In fact, at a recent workshop YouTern completed at a university for engineering majors, the 100+ students (95% of whom were seniors) were asked how many were on LinkedIn.

    Only 4 – four – raised their hands.

    If you aren’t on LinkedIn… to employers, you don’t exist. If you don’t present an amazing (meaning: complete!) profile… you’re wasting an opportunity to impress those employers.

    Membership in a Professional or Industry Association

    A survey by Millennial Branding said that about 78% of college students and young professionals had not yet joined a professional development or industry-related association. From this, we can infer that those young careerists are behind on not just networking skills, but also are far less likely to have established a mentor relationship with an influencer – or gained any hands-on experience in their industry.

    In today’s job market, you must be committed to your craft. Failure to get involved with your future colleagues may indicate that you’re just going through the motions.

    See all 5 basics and the complete article

    Wednesday, January 7, 2015

    9 Ways To Get Past Job Search Gatekeepers

    Susan Adams

    Recently a friend of mine applied for a job at a Washington, D.C. political advocacy group. She knew she would face stiff competition because the position was widely advertised. But she had several ins. Her husband knew a highly placed staffer and told him my friend was pursuing the job. Also she was acquainted with a board member through a previous job; she sent him an email asking him to put in a good word. Then she sent her résumé with a peppy, detailed cover letter to the person who was listed as the contact on the job posting. She followed up with the board member and left repeated phone messages for the job posting contact. But after six weeks she’d heard nothing, not even a response saying they had gotten her materials. She finally gave up.

    Does this story sound familiar? It can be the most frustrating, confounding part of a job search: Getting past the company gatekeeper. You do your best to make personal contacts inside an organization, you make calls and send emails, but nevertheless, you hit a brick wall.

    Kathleen Brady, a New York City career coach and author of three books, including GET A JOB: 10 Steps to Career Success, says it’s one of the top two biggest challenges job seekers face. (The other: locating “hidden” openings not listed on job boards or company websites.) Brady says my friend did everything right. The tough truth for job seekers, she says: Even if you play all of your best cards, chances are you will be stopped at the gate at least 50% of the time. But it’s essential to keep plugging beyond simply sending your résumé through an automated website or via email. “If you do nothing, nothing will happen,” she says. Many people don’t realize that it’s the gatekeeper who is holding back their chances. “For a lot of these positions, they’re getting 600-700 résumés,” she notes. “If someone the organization knows and trusts recommends you, it can move you to the top of the pile.”

    Often there are forces at play beyond the job seeker’s reach. For my friend, Brady suggests, there may have been internal politics, her contacts may not have had the same “juice” as another applicant’s connections or, despite the listing, the group may have decided not to fill the post. “Sometimes you just can’t make any sense of the situation and you’ve got to move onto the next one,” she says.

    What can you do to get ahead of those 700 other résumés? Here is what Brady recommends:

    3. Drill down into the company website. Brady recommends searching not just the careers link on a company’s website but the investor relations page and the company news links to find the names of potential contacts. Publicly traded companies also frequently have links to their annual reports, which list the people in leadership positions. Or simply Google the company name and “annual report.” You may realize you have a connection to someone on the list. Also try doing a LinkedIn search on each of the names. The goal: making a direct connection to a highly-placed person in the company where you are applying.

    8. Get creative. Sometimes it’s possible to combine networking and alumni connections and then to take a step beyond that. Brady had a client who wanted to work at a particular company but couldn’t find a contact or even a job listing. Through the company website he discovered that the company supported a charity he liked, and was hosting a fundraiser. He went to the event and made contacts at the firm, who helped him connect with a hiring manager. But you need to know where to draw the line. One of Brady’s lawyer clients sent his résumé to firms in the form of a blue, tri-fold subpoena. “That was over the top,” she says. “He was getting noticed but not in the way he wanted to get noticed.”

    See all 9 ways and the complete Forbes article

    10 Free Apps for LinkedIn You Need To Know


    If you are reading this, chances are you have a profile on LinkedIn, the popular networking site for professionals. It doesn’t matter if you like or hate the network (plenty of supporters on either side of the fence) anyone who wants to tap into its network of more than 300 million members will want in on that piece of pie.

    To help you with that, we have here a list of apps – found within and outside LinkedIn – that can help you do more with your LinkedIn profile, and help you improve your value as a professional worker, in general.

    From knowledge builders, to connection-making apps, powerful search engines and free templates to help you better approach a potential client, here are 10 applications to help you supercharge your personal value in LinkedIn.

    2. INstant Search

    Don’t let INstant Search’s simple appearance fool you. Login then type any keywords related to your field into the search box, and the app will instantly pull out the profiles of LinkedIn users whom you probably know in real life – even if they’re not officially in your LinkedIn network.

    5. SlinkyApp

    SlinkyApp takes the stress out of crafting tailored introductions for every new LinkedIn contact, and you know how important it is to make a good first impression. SlinkyApp helps you create and edit templates for Introductions, Messages and InMails.

    The app, which is available as a Chrome extension, will pop up and ready itself for use, everytime you visit a relevant page on LinkedIn.

    6. Connected

    When it comes to LinkedIn, quality connections matter. LinkedIn’s Connected helps you develop these connections by notifying you of contacts’ birthdays, anniversaries, and other important life events.

    With this information, you can drop your contacts a quick message and show that they are a valuable part of your network, just as much as you will be a valuable part to theirs. [iOS only]

    See all 10 apps and the complete article

    Tuesday, January 6, 2015

    Job Interview 101: 5 Clever Ways to Research Your Next Employer

    by ComeRecommended

    2. Skim Through Press Releases and Recent Company News

    Search for company news or press releases that will help you understand the company’s projects, clients, announcements, community involvement, or recognition. You can typically find this information on the employer’s “about” page.

    By reading company news, you’ll learn more about the company’s history and the progress it made during recent years. It’s likely the hiring manager could bring up questions relating to the company’s current projects, so learning this information can be helpful.

    3. Search Quora

    Many people use Quora to find an answer to practically any question. In fact, people have used Quora to ask questions about what it’s like to work at companies like Apple and Google, and have received responses from real employees.

    Use Quora to ask questions such as “What is it like to work at ABC Company?” or “What does ABC Company do?” Depending on the size of the company, you might be surprised at the amount of information you find. Quora can provide you with answers that will help you better understand the company’s culture.

    See all 5 clever ways and the complete article

    LinkedIn Reveals 25 Hottest Skills in US

    Professional networking website LinkedIn has revealed 25 hottest skills that were in demand in the US this year. LinkedIn analysed the skills and experience data in over 330 million member profiles to gather the data.

    The LinkedIn report shows that tech skills dominated the 'hottest skills' list. "Across the globe, statistics and data analysis skills were highly valued. In the US, India, and France, cloud and distributed computing skills were in particularly high demand," Sohan Murthy, research consultant at LinkedIn, wrote in a blog post.

    Mr Murthy also said that digital, online, and SEO (search engine optimization) marketing skills were also in demand.

    Fueled by hiring gains, cheaper gas and rising confidence, consumers and businesses drove the US economic growth to a sizzling 5 per cent annual rate in the September quarter of this year.

    This was the fastest since and was followed by a 4.6 per cent annual rate of growth in the April-June quarter.

    Employers in US added 321,000 jobs in November, the most in nearly three years. The unemployment rate held steady at 5.8 per cent, down sharply from 7 per cent 12 months earlier.

    In the first 11 months of this year, US employers have added 2.65 million jobs. That already makes 2014 the best year for hiring since 1999.

    25 Hottest Skills in US on LinkedIn

    • Cloud and distributed computing
    • Statistical analysis and data mining
    • Middleware and integration software
    • Network and information security
    • Mobile development

    Monday, January 5, 2015

    5 Ways To Keep Your LinkedIn Job Search Undetected When Employed

    by Chris Perry

    There is a lot of great advice out there for job seekers on how to use LinkedIn to build their personal brands and find new career opportunities.

    Some of these tips include maintaining a 100% complete LinkedIn profile, building your network of connections, getting recommendations, sharing valuable and relevant content to enhance your personal brand, joining and contributing to industry-specific and job search LinkedIn groups, following companies, applying for opportunities via LinkedIn Jobs, and more.

    However, I am often asked how professionals who are currently employed can leverage LinkedIn effectively, yet discreetly, without compromising their current job security.

    Here are 5 critical steps to ensure your LinkedIn job search efforts are successful, yet go undetected by your current employers:

    1. Stay Off the Feed

    Whether you’re already active on LinkedIn with a 100% complete profile or you’re just getting started, the first thing to do is to change your privacy settings so that your activity is not automatically broadcast to your network in the news feed and so your network cannot see your activity feed on your profile. Here’s how:
    1. Once signed in to your account, click on your name in the upper right-hand corner of the screen and click on “Settings” in the dropdown menu.
    2. Find “Profile” in the bottom section of this “Settings” page and then “Privacy Controls” to the right.
    3. First, click on “Turn on/off your activity broadcasts.” Un-check the box that says “Let people know when you change your profile, make recommendations, or follow companies.” Click the “Save changes” button.
    4. Next, click on “Select Who Can See Your Activity Feed.” Set this to “Only You.” Click the “Save changes” button.
    Note: This doesn’t hurt your overall visibility on LinkedIn, but just helps make your activity related to job searching more discreet to help protect you and your current job.

    2. Don’t Openly Advertise Your Job Search

    Hiding your activity from the news feed doesn’t make all of your LinkedIn activity totally undetectable. While this may seem obvious, be very careful not to openly advertise your job search. Here are some examples to consider:
    • DO NOT post any LinkedIn status updates that would imply that you are dissatisfied with your current job and/or looking for a new job opportunity. DO post status updates that demonstrate your expertise and interests and that support your personal brand.
    • DO NOT include language anywhere in your profile implying that you are dissatisfied with your current job and/or looking for a new job opportunity. DO leverage your profile as a selling document for you and your personal brand by including your accomplishments, skills and more.
    • DO NOT post anything openly related to your job search in LinkedIn Answers or in LinkedIn Groups, especially those related to job search. This doesn’t mean you can’t participate in these places. It just means you should focus your participation and contributions on building your personal brand in your area of expertise and should message people of interest directly and thus, discreetly.
    • DO NOT show all of your groups on your profile. When joining LinkedIn groups related to job search or any groups you don’t want people from your current employer to see, go immediately to the group after joining, click on the “More” tab and click on “Your Settings” in the dropdown menu. Under “Visibility Settings,” un-check “Display the group logo on your profile.”
    • DO NOT ask your current manager or colleagues for LinkedIn recommendations. You can ask previous managers and colleagues, but just be careful when they also work for the same employer. You can always say, “I just wanted to ask you for your feedback before too much time had passed since we had worked together.”
    • DO NOT display the optional Job Seeker badge on your profile if you choose to pay for a premium LinkedIn account.

    How to Find the Most Fascinating People on LinkedIn

    Brittany Walters-Bearden

    Let me preface this piece by stating that developing a LinkedIn strategy might not involve the same star power as, say, Barbara Walters’ The 10 Most Fascinating People of 2014.

    Chances are that you’re not going to aim to meet Amal Clooney via LinkedIn.

    But if you’re not using LinkedIn to build your personal brand and connect with fascinating people, you’re missing out. Here are just some of the ways I've used the social network to meet the following types of professionals:

    1. Guest bookers, media producers and editors. 

    In my time using LinkedIn, I have booked a number of interviews for myself and some guest pieces requested, without my consciously making an attempt to connect to media professionals. They found me.

    And I, as a publicist, was able to share some of the love with my clients. Even if you’re not working in public relations, know that there are media contacts out there who are looking for sources. Some of the friendliest editors and producers I have connected with found me via LinkedIn. 

    If you make a concerted effort to contribute to LinkedIn Groups and have the good fortune that these media professionals find you, you can end up with press you haven't been directly seeking. 
    The media folks that find you could be guest bookers for a podcast syndicated in five major markets or the editor of a respectable publication that's not yet a household name. The resulting media coverage will be something you’re proud to share via your website, social media and newsletter and can leverage to attract bigger opportunities. 

    2. Clients.

    The clients you can meet through LinkedIn are usually easier to sell to because they are already familiar with you, what you do and your message, thanks to the guest pieces and blog posts you share in your LinkedIn Groups.

    People become fans and start tracking your profile. Or they stumble across you,  a member of one of their LinkedIn Groups, read your bio and realize you’re just what they have been missing. 

    Ways to find interesting people 3-6 and the complete entrepreneur article