LinkedIn: Endorsements & Recommendations Boost your Job Search Efforts

LinkedIn graphicUtilizing LinkedIn’s Endorsements and Recommendations in Your Job Search

As you “ramp up” your LinkedIn profile to make a positive impression on potential employers, remember to build an Endorsements section that accurately represents the skill set you want to convey.

Your skills should be on-brand, not confusing, and not duplicated.

What do I mean? There may be a skill that you’re really good at and have used heavily in the past, but that you no longer wish to use in your professional life. Don’t list it!

Also, two or more skills that are very similar can be confusing to those who would like to endorse you, and may serve to dilute the impact of any one skill. Here’s an example:

    • Marketing

    • Brand Marketing

    • Sales & Marketing

Can you see how this would confuse endorsers and potential employers?

The best way to get your connections to endorse you is to endorse them. I set aside some time each month to endorse my existing connections.

Recommendations are written references about you, and it takes more effort for someone to do this. Consequently, it holds greater weight.

Some people will voluntarily write recommendations for you, but it’s also perfectly acceptable to ask people to write for you.

LinkedIn recommends a minimum of three recommendations and they make it easy for you to request them. Here are the steps:

  1. Go to the LinkedIn profile of the person you want to write a recommendation for you.

  2. Scroll down to the Recommendations box on that person’s profile.

  3. Click “Ask to Be Recommended,” and follow the prompts.

Be strategic about the people you ask to write recommendations for you. These should be people who know you well and who will address different aspects of your brand, yet be consistent.

What do I mean by this? Perhaps you want one recommender to talk about your record of building and mentoring high-performing sales teams, another to speak of your presentation skills, and another to speak of your outstanding sales performance.

Be sure to ask these individuals to write about these things-they will appreciate the guidance. While each is covering a different aspect of you, you want your brand to be represented in a consistent manner; contradictory information will only confuse the reader.

You should also be writing recommendations for others; this extends your brand to those individuals’ profiles as your name, picture, and tagline will be on their site.

Interested in a deep dive with me? Register for my next webinar. In addition to great content, you’ll have the opportunity to ask me questions and even get coached by me live! Here’s the link to find out about this month’s topic, date, and time: click here

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

A Robust LinkedIn Profile: A Must for the Job Search

LinkedIn graphicMaximizing Your Job Search Effectiveness on LinkedIn

In a previous blog, I talked about the ways in  which employers are utilizing LinkedIn in their recruitment efforts…and how pervasive this use is.

Let’s talk about how to ensure your LinkedIn profile is one that will generate positive activity.

1. You need a critical mass of at least 500 connections.

To build your connections, go to the advanced search feature (the magnifying glass found in the search bar at the top of your profile) to put in the criteria you want to search for.

You might want to search on your current and past employers, companies you’ve done business with, companies where you know lots of employees, people who live in your city or others you’ve lived in, people who have attended your college or university, or keywords such as “marketing.”

2. Complete your Experience and Summary Sections.

I am amazed at how many profiles I visit where the only information they have in their Experience section is the names of employers, job titles, and dates of employment.

Others have cut and pasted their resume into this section; neither of these strategies is effective.

LinkedIn recommends that your profile be written in first person, in a conversational style. It should be written in the same way you would tell your story to someone sitting across the table from you.

3. Optimize your tagline.

Your tagline is incredibly important, because there are three things that go wherever you go on LinkedIn: Your name, your picture, and your tagline.

Many people have their job title in this space; this is a missed opportunity to brand yourself for the future. Here are some great examples:

Operations Manager | Strategically optimizing an organization’s operational efficiency and maximizing profitability

Customer Experience Expert | Combining consumer transaction technology & business acumen to create top-of-mind awareness

Award-Winning Pharmaceutical Specialty Sales Representative, with consistent success across a range of disease states

Interested in a deep dive with me? Register for my next webinar. In addition to great content, you’ll have the opportunity to ask me questions and even get coached by me live! Here’s the link to find out about this month’s topic, date, and time: click here

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

How Employers Use LinkedIn in the Hiring Process

LinkedIn Graphic

LinkedIn: How Employers are Utilizing to Recruit Employees

You may think of LinkedIn as a necessary evil. Perhaps you’re (begrudgingly) participating…sort of…but not really sure why.

Here’s why you want to be active on LinkedIn: According to a recent survey by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), 77% of employers are utilizing social media as part of their recruiting arsenal. Of those 77%, a staggering 94% are utilizing LinkedIn.

Let  me break that down into simpler numbers: For every 10 positions employers fill, seven or eight of those employers will have utilized LinkedIn in their hiring process. WOW.

So how are employers using this tool? It might surprise you.

1. Job postings.

This is probably the most obvious, but do you regularly seek out decision-makers at the companies you are applying to? This allows you to introduce yourself, ask questions, and stand out among the applicants.

2. Keyword searches.

Employers will often search using the keywords contained in the position description they are hiring for. This is the primary reason LinkedIn recommends a robust, complete profile.

You have about 2,000 for your Summary and each position in your Experience section, and 120 characters for your tag line; use as many of them as you can.

3. Searching their personal network, or those of their top performers.

This allows the employer to review the credentials of known entities. If I want to hire an outstanding accountant, where better to look than among the professional network of my company’s outstanding accountants? Or asking my connections if they or someone they would recommend would be interested?

Many companies even have a formal bonus program for recommending applicants.

4. Review of applicants.

LinkedIn is also being used to vet out applicants, often as part of an overall online identity audit.

You’ve heard it a million times: you MUST have a clean online presence with no “red flags.”

Here’s what you may not know: Your online identity is not just a matter of the absence of bad, it is also about the presence of good. Is your brand consistent across media? Is your profile consistent with (but not a duplication of) your resume? Is your presence that of an engaged, accomplished professional?

Interested in a deep dive with me? Register for my next webinar. In addition to great content, you’ll have the opportunity to ask me questions and even get coached by me live! Here’s the link to find out about this month’s topic, date, and time: click here

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

The #1 Job Search Mistake You Can Make

Job Search graphicLooking for a job or a root canal?

So, you’ve found yourself in the job market again. Perhaps it is of your own choosing, or perhaps you never thought this could happen to you.

Regardless of how you got here, the fact is…you’re here. And you are perhaps thinking that a root canal would be preferable to looking for a job.

At least they give you drugs at the dentist office

There are some similarities: with both the root canal and the job search, you’ll feel much better when it’s over; you’ll also be very sensitive during either process.

The main difference, as I see it, is that they give you drugs to help you through the root canal.

You’re going to have to face the job search without pain medication (I don’t recommend self-medicating).

If you haven’t been in the job market for some time, you may not realize that the way people go about getting great jobs has changed dramatically.

Notice I said great jobs – that is what you’re looking for, isn’t it?

There are four job searching realities you really must accept in order to move successfully into your next career role.

In this article, I want to address the most important reality.

Job boards can’t be the only tool in your arsenal

Reality #1: Your job search cannot be focused solely on looking at job boards.

Here’s what you’re doing: you’re looking at the same positions that thousands of people are looking at—even those who aren’t actively job seeking.

This means your resume will be part of a large applicant pool with stiff competition.

I’m not suggesting that you eliminate this tool from your arsenal, but I am suggesting that you minimize the amount of time you spend on this tool due to the low ROI.

Networking is the name of the game

Let’s think about how companies go about the hiring process. Increasingly, companies are turning to their internal network—including their existing employees—to find great candidates.

Some companies even have structured incentive plans that reward employees for recommending people who are then hired.

Think about it: if your company is looking for an outstanding accountant, would you rather put an ad online and have to sift through the dozens of applications you receive from strangers, or would you prefer to ask a couple of your outstanding accountants who they would recommend for the position?

Yeah, I thought so.

 

Interested in a deep dive with me? Register for my next webinar. In addition to great content, you’ll have the opportunity to ask me questions and even get coached by me live! Here’s the link to find out about this month’s topic, date, and time: click here

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Don’t Make This Job Search Mistake

Job Search Candidate using computer to apply online

Okay, so you’ve decided to conduct an effective job search rather than having that root canal…good for you. Remember, no self-medicating.

Reality #1 explained the reason that passive job searches (comprised primarily of looking at job boards) are not effective. So what’s the alternative?

Bear with me as I paint a picture for you: You have a medical condition. You’ve identified what that condition is, but you haven’t yet found a medical practitioner to treat you.

Do you a) actively seek the right practitioner, based on referrals, research you conduct, whatever it takes to get the right doctor for you; or b) wait at home, looking online for doctors who are advertising for a patient just like you?

Of course, you are proactive—after all, this is your health we are talking about! You wouldn’t wait at home, and yet this is just how many people conduct their job search.

Please, Mr. Wonderful Employer, send me a sign (job notice) that you are looking for me.

It’s time to shift your thinking; it’s time for you to get into the driver’s seat of your own job search.

Which brings us to Job Search Reality #2: Your job search must be targeted. Throwing resumes out into the ether for positions you see online will probably not get you’re the results you desire, nor will applying for every position you’re even remotely qualified for.

So, what does work? Doing the work to determine what your brand is, what your ideal next position is, and which companies hire someone to do that job.

Of those companies that hire people like you, which ones are a good fit for you? It doesn’t matter what you value in an employer—it only matters that you seek out employers who provide what you value.

Notice what I didn’t say: “Which companies are currently hiring people like me?” If they are already advertising for you, then we’re back to Reality #1: looking at job boards.

Your goal should be to gain access to the hidden job market: those positions that aren’t advertised yet, may never be advertised if the company can find a qualified candidate by other means, aren’t known to the company yet (Mr. Manager is announcing his resignation next week), or don’t even exist.

You heard me right…don’t even exist. Companies routinely hire top-notch candidates and then find a perfect fit for them. Jim Collins, author of Good to Great, calls it “getting the right people on the bus.”

Interested in a deep dive with me? Register for my next webinar. In addition to great content, you’ll have the opportunity to ask me questions and even get coached by me live! Here’s the link to find out about this month’s topic, date, and time: click here

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

How to Get Your Leg in the Room

Hopefully, by now you are sold on the ineffectiveness of a passive job search and the importance of conducting a targeted, proactive job search.

Now you need some job search strategies to get your foot in the door (or, as an international client once said to me, “I just want to get a leg in the room”).

Which brings us to our next Job Search Reality: The bulk of your job search should be focused on getting face time with decision-makers at your target companies, regardless of whether or not they have a position posted for which you’re qualified.

You want to determine who in your network can help you get to the decision- makers in those organizations.

Yes, Virginia, it really is all about networking.

For those of you who think networking is akin to a four-letter word, let’s break it down: Networking is an exchange of information among colleagues. It should be conducted throughout your career, not just during a job search.

Sometimes you’ll be in a position to give more than you take; sometimes you’ll primarily be the taker.

Believe it or not, it can be 50-50 during your job search. This is one of the techniques I teach my clients.

Let’s spend a moment trying to organize your contacts. Note that you will do this for each of your target companies, as follows:

    • Quadrant 1: People who work in your targeted company, and who know the decision-makers in the area you want to work in
    • Quadrant 2: People who know the decision-makers, but don’t work at your targeted company
    • Quadrant 3: People who work in your targeted company, but don’t know the decision-makers in the area you want to work in
    • Quadrant 4: Influencers who neither work at your targeted company nor know the decision-makers in the area you want to work in, but who know a lot of people

As you fill in the quadrants for each of your targeted companies, you goal is to have at least one contact in Quadrant 1.

If all you can come up with is Quadrant 4 contacts…it’s a starting point. Think of it as a dart board: you may be starting on an outer rung, but at least your dart is on the board.

Keep working at it, and eventually you will land smack-dab in the center of the target.

Interested in a deep dive with me? Register for my next webinar. In addition to great content, you’ll have the opportunity to ask me questions and even get coached by me live! Here’s the link to find out about this month’s topic, date, and time: click here

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Organizing Your Job Search

Job Search Strategy with computer keyboard

So, how’s your oral health? Just checking. The only thing that hurts more than a toothache is not having a great job search strategy…

Here’s a Job Search Reality: Organization is a MUST in the job search. It doesn’t matter whether you use one of the on-line job campaign systems such as JibberJobber, an Excel spreadsheet, or file folders, the point is you must stay organized throughout your campaign.

You need to keep track of jobs you’ve applied for and your employer research, maintain copies of the customized resume and cover letter you submitted for each position, a calendar to remind you to follow up with contacts and attend networking functions, and notes to remind you of important points from conversations and interviews.

I probably don’t need to tell you this, but I will anyway: it is critical that you do what you say you will do throughout your job search—prospective employers will see a direct correlation between your follow-up and follow-through during the job search and your ability to do the same once in the position.

If you tell a prospective employer that you will check back with them next Friday to see how their hiring process is coming along, DO IT. If you tell a new networking contact that you will e-mail her your resume within two hours, DO IT. Create an infrastructure for your job search that facilitates your success.

In summary: Here’s a great analogy I learned recently, and it seems to resonate with my clients: In your job search, you want to be a thermostat, not a thermometer.

Think about it: a thermometer just measures what’s there, whereas a thermostat determines how comfortable the room will be. In other words, a thermometer is reactive, whereas a thermostat is proactive.

Be a thermostat in your job search and you’ll be amazed at the things you can make happ

Interested in a deep dive with me? Register for my next webinar. In addition to great content, you’ll have the opportunity to ask me questions and even get coached by me live! Here’s the link to find out about this month’s topic, date, and time: click here

 

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail