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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If your goal is to get a new job this year, here are seven things you need to do to prepare yourself for your job search.

1. Update your résumé. While ideally your résumé is customized for a specific job, having an up-to-date résumé targeted for a specific “type” of position is the next best thing. So if you’ve taken on additional responsibilities in your current job, or you’ve changed your job target, or you’ve added new training or educational credentials, now is the time to talk with your résumé writer about updating your résumé. (And if you don’t have a résumé at all, now is definitely the time to put one together! A professional résumé writer can help!)

2. Develop — or update — your LinkedIn profile. A LinkedIn profile doesn’t replace the résumé…it complements it. Someone looking for a candidate with your skills and experience might conduct a search on LinkedIn and find your profile. Or, someone in your network might be interested in recommending you, and forward your LinkedIn profile URL. So make sure you have a LinkedIn profile — and make sure that it’s updated. (Yes, this is something your résumé writer can help you with.)

3. Know what you’re worth: conduct salary research. One of the most often-cited reasons to consider a job search is to increase your salary. But how do you know what you’re worth? There is more salary research data available than ever before. Websites like Glassdoor.com and Salary.com can help you see how your current salary and benefits package stacks up.

4. Build your network. It’s estimated that 70-80% of jobs are found through networking. Networking effectiveness is not just about quality — although that’s important. It’s also about quantity. It’s not just about who you know. It’s about who your contacts know. Many times, it’s the friend-of-a-friend who can help you land your dream job. Grow your network both professionally and personally. You never know who will be the one to introduce you to your next job opportunity.

5. Manage your online reputation. More and more hiring managers are checking you out online before they interview you. What will they find when they type your name into Google? How about if they check out your Twitter profile? Or find you on Facebook? Now is the time to conduct a social media assessment and clean up your online profiles.

6. Define your ideal job. “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.” That line, from Alice in Wonderland, is important to remember in your job search. If you don’t know what your dream job looks like, how will you know how to find it? What job title and responsibilities are you interested in? Do you want to work independently, as part of a team, or both? Do you like short-term projects or long-term projects? Who would you report to? Who would report to you? Answering these questions can help you define your ideal position.

7. Create a target list of companies you’d like to work for. Like your ideal job, you probably have a preference for the type of organization you want as your employer. Things to consider include: company size, industry, culture, location, and structure (public, private, family-owned, franchise, nonprofit, etc.). Once you’ve made your list, look for companies that fit your criteria.

one great way to target your status updates

I hope you are on LinkedIn, because it is one of the fastest-growing ways to network with other professionals. The site does a good job of helping you figure out how to improve your profile and potential network, too. One of their helpful tools is found in their Targeted Status Updates list of 10 tips for engaging followers.

Under tip #2:

Informative, useful updates receive the highest engagement rates because that’s the information members expect from companies they follow on LinkedIn. After all, your followers are active on LinkedIn because they want to be more productive and successful professionals.

  • 60% of members are interested in industry insights (my emphasis)
  • 53% are interested in company news
  • 43% are interested in new products and services

Now, a job seeker may not have too much in the way of company news or new products and services. But every job seeker should be staying current on the industry they hope to join once they are hired. You should be doing a lot of reading about your career field anyway, right?

When you update your status with industry insights, you are targeting the majority of professionals in your industry. It doesn’t have to be all original content, either. You can link to something that made you think and add your commentary on the subject, just like I am doing here. I am giving you two things: an authoritative source (LinkedIn) for some useful information and my unique perspective in it.

If you were an employer, you’d say,

Hmm…this person knows where to find valid industry information and knows how to expand on it.

This is good, because the more a potential employer can find on your thought processes, the easier it is for them to give you a chance at a job. Networking is an essential part of the job search, and this simple way to target your status updates strengthens your network and increases your authority.

 

 

 

The job search process can be long, boring, and more than anything, disappointing. You may spend hours searching the internet and newspapers, and will come up with almost nothing that sounds like the job you’re looking for.  Which brings up another problem-do you even know what it is you are looking for? This aimless searching leads to wasted time, energy and disappointment.

Fortunately, you can make the job search easier on yourself if you take some time and decide what it is you want to search for. If you have an idea of what kind of job you want to do and a job that you would enjoy, then your search will be more fruitful and you will waste less time aimlessly searching.

First, you need to decide what it is you want to do. Think about what you enjoy, what you know how to do, what you have been educated in, and where you want to be in your career. If you take the time to think through what it is you want, then you will be one step closer to getting a job and a career that you can enjoy.

Next, as you begin your search, keep focused. You have decided what it is you want to do, so don’t stray from that path. If you do, you will only be wasting valuable time that could be spent on a targeted search. Use job search sites that have filter so you can search for specifics such as: full time, part time, education needed, distance from where you live, and the type of work.

If you know what you want to search for before you even begin the path to a new career, not only will you spend less time searching for a job, but the time you do spend searching will be more fruitful and you will be more likely to find a job you will love.

coffee-pencil-wantads

Instead of just sending out a generic resume, today’s job candidates need to take the time to tailor their resume to fit every job being applied for. While this may make the application process take longer, it will be well worth the effort in the long run. Here are a few tips to tailor your resume and help make the application process go faster:

Keep the information on your resume up to date. Just got a new cell phone? Change the contact information right away. It is easy to forget to change such a small thing, but you shouldn’t wait until you’re applying for a new job. An out-of-date phone number can have big, negative consequence (such as not being contacted for your dream job).

Read the job qualifications and duties carefully. Add the same keywords to your resume so that it will make it through the recruiter’s software scanner.

Use separate resumes for experience in different industries or a functional resume for two or more closely related industries. It makes it easier to add crucial keywords to your resume when tailoring it to a specific position.

Learn to be a cut and paste, toggle expert. Not all job application databases will let you upload a resume into different information fields. Become familiar with Control+C and Control+V to copy and paste. PCs use the Alt+Tab keys and Macs use the Apple+Tab keys to toggle between screens. Copy text from your resume first, then toggle to the job application page and paste the text into the information boxes.

Name your resumes generically and modify the name each time you upload it to an application database. For example, label your updated resume “Edit512” for the industry it addresses and the date you updated it. Do not name your resume with a company name. It is too easy to upload your Xerox resume for an IBM position, and forgetting to change the name will count against you as a job candidate.

Following these easy tips will help you to be more prepared for your job search.

Career Objective

If you were to ask career counselors if a career objective is worth merit, half of them would say yes. Those arguing against objectives will say they are too limiting and usually poorly constructed. Those in favor will say that employers want to be able to determine quickly what you can do for the company and what you’re good at. An objective can help meet that need. To some employers, the lack of an objective translates into a job seeker who doesn’t know what he or she wants. On the other hand, numerous employers say they rarely see a well-written objective.

There’s no doubt that many resume career objectives are poorly put together as they are usually vague and not job specific. This defeats the whole purpose of the objective in the first place.

Job seekers also tend to ignore the employer’s need to know what a potential employee can contribute and list everything that the job seeker wants. For example, a typical self-serving objective will say “To obtain a meaningful and challenging position which enables me to learn the accounting field and which allows for advancement.” If your career objective doesn’t match what the hiring manager has to offer, he or she is not likely to give serious consideration to other positions within the company that you might fit into.

In other words, don’t leave the career objective off of your resume. You can have several versions of your resume saved on your computer that each have a different objective. You could even come up with a specific, tailor-made objective on your resume for each job you apply for. With technology, resumes and objectives need not be “one size fits all.” However, if you go to a job fair where it’s impossible to tailor your objective as you move from booth to booth, or if you’re handing out resumes in a networking situation, it may make more sense to leave your objective off.

If you are still uncomfortable with committing yourself to an objective on your resume, you can use a cover letter to tailor a resume to specific jobs. The cover letter can help bring the resume into sharper focus by elaborating on what the job seeker wants to do and what he or she can specifically contribute to a particular job.

Employers are seeing more objectives being replaced with wording such as summary, skills summary, qualifications or profile. Keywords in these sections are very important if they are tailored to specific job skills.

Objectives should reflect the employer’s perspective, not the job seeker’s, and should tell what the job seeker can contribute. An objective should demonstrate the value the candidate will add to the organization. Objectives should be as concise as possible. Whether or not you choose to include an objective, you may wish to present a skills or qualifications section on your resume

That looks phishy!

The Internet has definitely transformed how jobseekers contact hiring companies. Most company’s now have an option on their website to submit resumes, which makes it much easier and more convenient. You don’t have to spend hours printing and mailing or faxing resumes to countless recipients.

Because of this convenience a breeding ground for scam artists continues to grow each year as well. Identity thefts have increased to an overwhelming 10 million cases per year, and many of them are the result of phishing and the employment industry is under attack as well.

Phishing is an attempt to extract personal information through what appears to be authentic emails. You may get emails from a recruiter that looks legitimate but may not be. Knowing what to look for and how to spot fraud (or potential areas for abuse) can be the best way to ensuring you have a safe experience while conducting your job search.

Be careful of invitations to submit your resume. Scammers and spammers follow the same patterns. Mass emails are sent to a lot of people at once. Receiving an email from a recruiter who sends you an email to the effect: “We saw your resume on the Internet and we find your skill set to be perfect for one of our clients. Please complete our online application through the link below. Be very careful and think before you respond. Did you send your resume to this recruiter? Do not click on the link in the email, instead visit their website from a new browser window. Make sure everything looks right first. Always proceed with caution when you receive a cold-contact email from someone.

Do not give out personal information unless you know for sure the email is legitimate. Reputable companies will not ask for personal information via email.

Don’t just give your information freely. If a job application wants more information than you’re willing to provide, be very careful. With safe online practices, you’ll get the best return from your job-search efforts instead of filing a police report and/or calling credit bureaus and credit card companies.

Cover Letter

Both cover letters and resumes are essential when applying to a job. However, each format has its own specific style so it is important not to confuse the two in the preparation process.

The cover letter introduces the candidate as well as explains to the prospective employer the reasons and qualifications for applying to the specific job.

A resume is the listing of experiences, accomplishments, and education that one has accumulated over the years.

These are the five ways that cover letters and resumes differ:

  • While the resume is brief in nature, the cover letter should expand on any details that the resume may have left off, including explanations for inconsistencies.
  • The cover letter should be an actual letter with complete sentences and divided paragraphs while the resume can have bullet points and phrases.
  • The cover letter attempts to get further consideration from whomever reads it while the resume is the basis for which they see the candidate’s background and qualifications.
  • A resume outlines past accomplishments and experiences while a cover letter expresses future goals.
  • The cover letter can express more enthusiasm in the language while resumes should follow a rigid and professional tone.

As you can see, the two go hand in hand. So, be sure to have your cover letter prepared and detailed for each job posting that you apply for.

 


The year 2012 will have a diverse mix of jobs available as the year progresses. Of course, things don’t always go according to plan. However, there should be something for every one on the job market this year.

The top three industries are Health Care, Technology and Science. Health care will always be top because we need health care no matter what, and it doesn’t matter if you have insurance. Everyone has to go to the doctor some time or another.

Information technology is growing by leaps and bounds, partly due to the internet. Degreed positions in this field are commanding a higher starting wage than some of the other fields. Everything from computers, cell phones to data storage require more and more positions.

Science is growing as they are building on the molecular level creating robots, micro-organisms and other areas.

At the same time, blue collar jobs will have a lot of openings as baby boomers begin to retire. Machinists, welders, truck drivers, construction workers are still needed in spite of the technology that abounds.

A good thing about blue collar positions is that many of those do not require a college degree. They may need a certificate or license, but it is still easy to get into a good paying job in these fields.

Now is a good time to dust off your resume and update it with all new information. Make sure that all information is current and that you have a good list of job skills listed.

There are many job search resources available on the internet so that you can decide which area of expertise you wish to pursue.

Word Spreads

With all the new technology available on the Internet today, there is absolutely no reason anyone should simply stop once a resume has been completed and sent. There is a wide world of other venues just waiting for you to use them to market your personal brand. Blogging is only part of it.

Some may think blogging and job searches are two different things. They are, but they aren’t. There has never been a better time to be able to talk to people, to get the word out about you and your skills than blogging.

Build a blog site that highlights your job skills and your previous jobs. Talk about something every day. Add links to your resume and use the social networks to retweet or repost your site.

There are numerous job boards for you to use to post your resume, whether it’s an executive resume, professional or entry level. And there are people who will retweet your blog post so others can see it. Before long, you have reached thousands of people. Before, you would have sent it to only a few. So, what’s smarter?

Twitter has a very easy way to help individuals with their blog posts and to be able to integrate both together. Facebook does as well, and LinkedIn too.

Now, you can increase your visibility and get more options available to you during your job search. Take a chance and see how much fun it is and how much it will help at the same time.

Before you send your next resume out, give blogging and social media sites a try. You just may have more opportunities than you originally thought.

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