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While most companies are hiring professionals and executives throughout the year, the summer months tend to be a little slower. With people taking time off to go on vacation and spending time away from the office, the hiring process takes a little longer than usual. For job seekers, this is the perfect time to clean up your executive LinkedIn profile. Most people don’t spend enough time updating their profile, which could have a few downfalls. Here are some tips on how to clean up yours this summer.

Update Everything

Read your entire executive LinkedIn profile word-for-word and update anything that has changed. Chances are you’ll think about several skills or experiences you’ve developed or had since your last profile update. Having updated information about yourself is one of the keys to the best LinkedIn profile development.LinkedIn profile development

Filter Through Your Endorsements

You may have gotten several LinkedIn endorsements from friends or family that simply aren’t relevant to executive jobs you’re looking for. The amount of endorsements you have isn’t nearly as important as the quality of the endorsements. Filter through all of them and remove any of the unimportant ones so a recruiter will see only the relevant endorsements.

Focus on Your Summary

The summary section is the place where you sell yourself to potential recruiters and connections. If you aren’t a strong writer, you can always reach out to a professional LinkedIn profile writer for assistance. The summary needs to be specific and straight to the point without a lot of fluff. Writing the best LinkedIn summary is an art, so seek help if you need it.

Keep Your Profile Straightforward

Your executive LinkedIn profile should be treated differently from your executive resume, but they do have some similarities. Don’t use a lot of filler words on your LinkedIn profile just to make it longer. Being clean and concise with your words will look more impressive to a recruiter than having to scroll down through blocks of text. If you’re actively looking for a job, make it clear. If you’re currently employed but keeping your options open, make that clear as well.

Professional Resume Services is here to help you with your LinkedIn profile development this summer. Whether you need advice on tidying up your profile, or if you need a professional LinkedIn profile writer, feel free to reach out to us at any time.

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Networking seems so simple, but so tricky at the same time. Many professionals and executives believe they will have easy access to a job if there is a family member or friend in the company. However, this isn’t necessarily true. And even if it is partially true, you have to be careful how you approach the situation.

Personal branding for senior level managersWhen it comes to personal branding for senior level managers, always having a professional approach is critical. You could be putting your family member’s or your friend’s reputation on the line by asking for a favor. Here are other things to consider.

Use Them, But Don’t Abuse Them

There’s no harm in asking someone you know to help you get your foot in the door. But you don’t want to make them go out of their way and potentially damage their own reputation and success on your behalf. As you know, c-level personal branding takes a lot of time and effort to build, but can be damaged instantly. Don’t abuse your close connections by pressuring them to fight for you, especially if you may not be completely qualified.

Verify Your Qualifications First

The best thing you can do right away is ask your close connections whether you are qualified for a position they have available. You should also learn how to optimize your LinkedIn profile before you even reach out to them, just so your information is current. The worst thing that can happen to both your reputation and your friend or family member’s is to make the effort to get your foot in the door, only to find out you don’t meet the necessary qualifications.

Understand Their Risk in Helping You

Family and friends can boost your networking efforts, but also take into consideration the risk they are taking in helping you. They’ve worked hard to get in the position they are in just like you have. If they recommend you and you don’t fit with the company for some reason, their own c-level personal branding could take a hit. Sometimes it’s not worth the risk for them, so take that into consideration before asking any favors.

Professional Resume Services can help you with your networking efforts. Whether you need to learn how to optimize your LinkedIn profile or brush up your resume, we are here for you when you need us. Feel free to reach out to us at any time.

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ceo interview questions

We are accustomed to any number of conventional interview questions, and everyone has their favorites. But many shrewd CEOs and executives are digging a little deeper, looking beyond what they see in a job candidates’ executive profiles, resumes and cover letters. They are asking some very unusual interview questions designed to reveal more of your personality and ensure you are the perfect fit for their company.

 

“What would you do in the event of a zombie apocalypse?”

— Ashley Morris, Capriotti Sandwich Shop CEO

 

Of course, there is no right or wrong answer here. It’s simply a fun question Morris likes to ask to see how a candidate will respond under pressure. This gives him a feel for how effectively they react without prior thought or planning, as well as insight into their moral compass and whether they will fit into the company’s culture.

 

“What’s your superpower … or spirit animal?”

— Ryan Holmes, HootSuite CEO

 

Holmes feels the response he gets to this question gives him a greater understanding of a candidate’s work habits, beyond what’s seen on an executive’s profile.

 

“On a scale of one to 10, how weird are you?”

— Tony Hsieh, Zappos CEO

 

One of the reasons Hsieh likes to ask this quirky question is to ensure the candidate is a good fit for the casual culture of Zappos. According to Hsieh, whose company values include fun and a little weirdness, it’s not really important what number you choose, unless it’s at the extreme end, such as one or ten. Whereas a one might indicate you are too conservative for his company, a ten, on the other hand might show a tendency toward being a little too weird for them.

 

“Tell me something that’s true, that almost nobody agrees with you on.”

— Peter Thiel, PayPal co-founder

 

Co-founder of PayPal Thiel values those who are not afraid to say what’s on their minds. He finds this question, though uncomfortable, helps him see how courageous a candidate can be in discussing something that may be in direct opposition to the interviewer’s opinions.

 

“What was the last costume you wore?”

 David Gilboa, Warby Parker co-CEO

 

What the candidate remembers wearing isn’t a problem. It’s more about making sure they fit in with the eyewear retailer’s relaxed environment. With core values that include adding “fun and quirkiness” into everything they do, Warby feels that even the most capable candidate would be a mistake to hire if their work style was not a good fit.

 

“Tell me about your failures.”

 Jenny Ming, president and CEO of Charlotte Russe (former chief executive of Old Navy)

 

Resumes and cover letters don’t show failures, only successes. Ming feels this question is a good test of how willing the candidate is to take a risk, and being honest enough to acknowledge when things don’t go right. The example could come from either personal or business life. What’s important is how the person handled the failure and how they overcame or moved forward afterward. The clothing store executive says the responses give her insight into how willing the candidate is to admit when something goes wrong.

 

So, to prepare, you might want to start thinking about what your super power or weirdness level is so you are ready for your next interview.

 

 

 

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online authority is essential for professionals
Professional resume and executive resume services have always emphasized the importance of networking for those interested in finding a job or moving ahead in their career plans. This is because the interactions we have with others in our industries creates a background impression that job applications, resumes, and cover letters are viewed against. People see the resume, for instance, and find out more by either asking around or remembering contact.

LinkedIn is an online networking site, the biggest and most influential one we have access to in 2015. Louisa Chan is a marketing expert, and her post on Copyblogger is primarily speaking to content writers. But the 7 Ways to Build Online Authority with LinkedIn that Chan suggests are good suggestions for professionals of any industry who wish to establish authority in their field. Isn’t this what networking and moving ahead as a professional is all about? As others become familiar with our expertise, we have a voice in the field — and the more expertise that is in our voice, the more authority we have.

Seven Ways To Build Authority on LinkedIn

Here is a quick look at these great suggestions:

  1. complete your profile
  2. compose content for distribution
  3. convene in relevant LinkedIn discussion groups
  4. connect with your peers
  5. communicate in a personal way
  6. continue to improve
  7. commit to your production schedule

All of these are ongoing projects. Even the completion of your profile is never ending, because if you are doing the other things, there will be more to add to your profile. And each time you add to the content you produce, your voice is being heard as an expert in your field.

If nobody knows you are an expert, you are invisible. One of the first things that a potential employer or the HR person deciding on your promotion, will do is see what you have to say about your expertise online. This is essential, whether it is original content (and there should be some original content) or a carefully curated contribution to the discussion along with your commentary.

 

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new survey shows executives need social media skills

There are many CEOs who are not interested in social media because they are incredibly busy. Let’s face it though, we are all busy. However, BRANDfog’s 2014 survey on The Global, Social CEO indicates that C-level executives who ignore social media are losing the ability to influence brand reputation and company leadership. The global conversations are happening on social media, and not being part of the conversation means others are controlling the topics.

How The Survey Was Conducted

A diverse selection of companies, ranging from small startups to Fortune 1000 companies in several industries, was represented. BRANDfog surveyed 1000 UK and US employees in these companies asking 15 basic questions about social media for executive and C-Suite communication. This is an annual survey and shows a definite shift in perception regarding social media and industry leaders.

Highlights and Conclusions

There were three observations of recent trends made in this year’s survey results. These are:

  1. Social CEOs make better leaders.
  2. Social CEO engagement leads to brand trust.
  3. Social media is modern PR.

It’s clear that anyone interested in being an effective upper level executive is going to need to come to terms with social media. To quote from this survey:

“C-suite executives who embrace social media gain a competitive edge. They use social channels to provide context for business decisions, address brand issues, showcase company culture and most importantly, demonstrate thought leadership.”

What This Means For You

Anyone interested in moving into the upper executive levels of a company should be working right now to be a competent, professional social media expert. Careful monitoring of your social media use now, in areas like LinkedIn profile development, is going to pay off in the future. Developing social media competency keeps your personal brand clean, your professional brand impressive, and becomes a habitual discipline.

As you move higher in the corporate world, a habitual discipline is going to make adding new responsibilities much easier because you already do the basics. It’s also going to make you more attractive to those looking to fill leadership positions. A social media-savvy candidate will be preferred in tomorrow’s business world.

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Projecting a Professional Image
By now everyone has heard about people being hired and then either dismissed during the probationary period or shunned to the back room because of tattoos and/or piercings. Because these displays of individuality are becoming more common, you might not give it a second thought when you arrive at your interview with a nose ring. The truth is: you should be giving your appearance a second thought when looking for employment.

As part of your job search/interview prep, you need to determine the climate of the place where you are applying. Some companies have no problem with body art or multiple piercings. However, other work environments consider them to be detrimental to the company image. While it’s rare that a stellar candidate would be automatically excluded based on this alone, in a tough job market where there are several great candidates vying for every position, it could be problematic.

New graduates need to remember that it’s rare that others of their immediate generation will be the ones hiring. You will generally be interviewed by someone who has been in the workforce for a number of years, so their standards are the ones you need to be mindful of when deciding whether or not to wear your piercings to job interviews or on the job.

On the other hand, some companies may simply not care at all.

Common sense advice: research the company prior to applying for the job. Of course the reality is that often people apply to every place with an opening. Either way, add to your list of things to look into the personal grooming policies of the company regarding tattoos and piercings.

You want to project a professional image that is inline with others at the company. Abiding by the dress code in the environment you’re applying to will save you from entering into an awkward situation with the hiring manager, and, could even be the difference in getting the job or politely being shown the door.

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Networking is an absolute must for a successful career. Unfortunately, many people consider networking events as nothing more than social time akin to a cocktail party. The truth is that networking events are more like a pre-interview on a mass scale. You are on display and you ensure that your goals, value, and expertise are communicated effectively.

One of the most basic mistakes is that people tend to dress down for these networking events. While you don’t necessarily have to dress for an interview, dressing well conveys respect for others as well as for yourself. Besides, every psychological study ever done shows that when people dress they are apt to have more confidence. So put on your best business casual attire and and head to the gathering.

Another mistake people make is not having business cards ready to hand out. Sure, you can use a digital card on your phone and send it to them. But that only works if their phone has that capability and that they know how to use the application. While it may be old school, it is still easier to hand a business card over. Even better, ask which the employer/recruiter would prefer-digital or card in hand. This way they know that you are current with the latest technology, yet still understand the traditional niceties.

Be certain that you observe proper etiquette when at a networking event. The purpose of these events is to mingle and meet as many people as possible. To do this you need to be confident but not pompous. Make certain that you don’t monopolize any one company and be sure to be respectful of everyone you meet. You never know when or where your paths may cross again.

Finally, never stop making contacts in your field. You need these people not only to stay up on current trends, but you may one day need a reference, a new job or even a contact if your company is looking to expand into a new market. It never hurts to plan ahead.

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What Value Did You Add To Your Career Today?
In order to advance in your career or show improvements on your resume, you need to make sure that you are constantly trying to better yourself and your skills. Employers want to see that you will make their company a more profitable place. Whether by awarding you with a promotion or giving you the job in the first place, you need to show employers the value you offer by doing something to enhance your career on a daily basis. You will be surprised how simple it can be to improve and develop skills, which may in turn lead them to give you the job or the promotion.

  • Practice: This is simple, but if you continue to practice the skills you already have, then you will become more proficient and they will become more impressive to employers.
  • Networking: This is another simple thing, but so very important. You need to make sure that employers know your name so that when promotions come up you are one of the first names that come into their head. Make sure your name is prominent on successful projects, that your initiative to move up the ladder is known, and that you introduce yourself to those attending meetings with you, especially when interacting with the company’s executives.
  • Training: Look for training and professional development opportunities in your industry that would help you develop new skills or enhance yourcurrent skills. Training by professionals can be a great way to learn and become impressive.  If the training is especially applicable to your job, employers may even pay for part or all of the training.

There are so many things  you can do to improve your career and resume. If you feel you are not improving, then take the time to ask yourself what you have been doing lately to add value to your career, as well as create a plan to further your skills and expertise. In today’s competitive job market, it is essential that you show employers the value you add to the company, every single day.

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Why Did You Leave Your Last Position?
A common question asked during an interview is “Why Did You Leave Your Last Position?” A friend of mine who worked in Iran during the 1979 revolution offers an easy answer: his resume always says “civil unrest.” While that is a concrete and completely honest answer, most of us don’t usually have such a perfect answer when asked that question during an interview. Futhermore, the answer can be even more difficult if you are still in your current position and interviewing for a new position at another company.

If the questions “Why did you leave your last position?” or “Why do you want to leave your current position?” come up during an interview (and they will), your answers should be brief and honest. Simply stating that you are looking to advance your career or enhance your skill set are easy answers. You want to talk about using your skills, especially new ones you might have acquired through additional education or on-the-job training. You could also mention that you are looking for a position with more advancement opportunities and responsibilities.

What if the reason you are leaving is because of harassment, horrible policies, downsizing, or that your last boss was a complete jerk? Pretend it never happened. Under absolutely no circumstances are you to mention anything negative about you supervisor, your company, or anyone you have ever worked with. There is no possible way to complain without looking bad to the interviewer, so avoid it at all costs. If for some reason the interviewer knows that there was a situation at your last job, answer his questions truthfully, without giving a lot of detail, and direct the focus of the interview back to your qualifications for the job he is interviewing you for.

When interviewing, you want to leave the impression that you are ambitious, hardworking, and the best candidate for the job. Before you interview, take the time to rehearse concrete answers as to why you’re looking for a new job and how your skills, experience, and work ethic make you the best candidate.

 

 

 

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