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No matter how you look at it, getting laid off from your job is never fun. You may have been expecting it for weeks or months, or you may have been caught completely off guard. Regardless of the circumstances, there are some things you should do and shouldn’t do immediately following a layoff.

You may be tempted to send out dozens of resumes and cover letters frantically in an attempt to find a new job as quickly as possible, but that could possibly be the worst strategy you can use. Instead, here are some do’s and don’ts to consider if you’ve been laid off.

Executive resume writing service

Don’t Feel Sorry For Yourself

Feeling sorry for yourself and telling others about it doesn’t move you forward. Getting out of your rut of being laid off can be difficult, but it’s a necessity. If you must, take a day to reflect on the situation, but then let it go. Visit an executive resume writing service for professional help on brushing up your resume. The professionals there can give you words of encouragement based on experience, since they work with all types of clients and have plenty of success stories to share.

Take a Break Before Starting Your Job Search

You should take a little break before immediately jumping into your next job search. It’s human nature to take a little while to rebound from a layoff, so you need to make sure your mind is in the right place before you start talking to potential employers. This downtime would be the perfect window to optimize your LinkedIn profile, but give yourself enough time to recover before making connections.

Reconnect With Your Network

Reconnecting with your network is something you should do even before you send out dozens of resumes and cover letters. Be sure to optimize your LinkedIn profile first, though, so your connections know exactly what you’re up to when you reach out to them.

Take Time to Devise or Revise Your Career Plan

You may have been taken by surprise with your recent layoff, so take some time to come up with a new career plan. That may involve incorporating multiple streams of income or switching industries completely. Your opportunities are endless, so take all the time you need to put together your next career plan!

Professional Resume Services works with people who have been laid off all the time. Our executive resume writing service excels at helping people get back on their feet and into the jobs they want. Feel free to contact us if you need help following your layoff.

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Whether you’re a brand new executive or you have years of experience, you should know by now that summer is one of the best times of the year for networking. You can spend hours working on resumes and cover letters during the colder months, but now is the time to disperse them to your best contacts. What makes the summer season the best time to improve personal branding for senior level managers? Here are some things to consider the next time you network this summer.

Volunteer Opportunities

There are numerous volunteer opportunities across any community nationwide throughout the summer. Take advantage of these opportunities by doing good deeds while meeting some new people along the way. You’d be surprised at how your c-level personal branding can improve by being active within the community. Plus, just about everyone is open for conversation since they feel great about contributing to a good cause. There are many great people you’ll meet when volunteering that can lead to lifelong friendships and potential business contacts.

People Are Open For Conversation

There’s something about the summer season that makes people more relaxed and open. With vacations planned and more time spent outside the office, people are more open to conversation now than any other time of the year. There’s never a bad time to work on your c-level personal branding. Whether you’re at a Meetup group, a work event or even a happy hour with some colleagues, never miss the opportunity to improve your brand. And don’t forget your business cards so people will have something to remember you by!

Casual Environments Are More Relaxing

c-level personal brandingPeople simply get tired of being in an office all day long. Summer is the perfect time to get out and have some drinks on an outdoor patio after a long day of work. Find events that are outdoors during the summer, since generally you’ll find the people there are more relaxed. Just be sure to adapt to your environment so you fit in rather than being the person who ruins the vibe.

Professional Resume Services isn’t just about resumes and cover letters. We also have some valuable tips about networking as well. This summer is the perfect time for networking, so feel free to contact us at any time if you need any tips or advice on making the best connections this summer.

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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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Customize the best executive resume for the job.

The best executive resume should be customized for the job.

As a Resume Writer and Career Coach, one of the questions I get asked the most is “Why can’t I find a job?” So many job seekers become frustrated during their search because they expect instant results-and that rarely happens in a job search.  Hunting for a new job is tough, it just is. However, there are things you can do to help you to understand “why” you aren’t finding a job, and even more importantly, understand “what” you should be doing differently to land the job of your dreams.

 

Your Resume

 

If your resume has not been updated in the past five years, then you have a problem. Even if you’ve been in the same job for longer than five years, surely you are learning new skills and achieving new goals that should be documented on your resume. A resume is a living document that needs to be revisited and updated on an annual basis. If you’re not doing this, then your resume could be the “dead” document that is thwarting your job search.

 

If you aren’t sure where to start, have your resume critiqued by a certified professional resume writer. Make the recommended changes yourself, or, hire the service to ensure that you’re getting the best documents you can to market your skills. Yes…this is an investment, but you’re investing in your future.

 

Social Media Activity

 

Today’s job seekers must have a presence on social media. As soon as someone hears your name, the curiosity sets in and a search will commence. Will you be found? Google yourself. What shows up? Clean up your social media profiles-both professional and personal. Be sure that your professional profiles clearly communicate your skill, experience, education, and value you can offer potential employers.  If you’re on Facebook, beef up your privacy settings. Don’t let strangers see your activity or allow your friends to tag you in photos or post onto your page. For other sites like Instagram and Twitter, keep your settings on private so that you have to approve any new followers.

 

Create a profile on LinkedIn. This is the most popular professional networking site and a great place for recruiters and potential employers to find you. Be sure your profile is complete, brands you appropriately, is free of typos, and is filled with industry-specific keywords and keyword phrases that will get you found during SEO searches. Your profile photos should not be from your college fraternity days. A clear headshot with a clean background works best. Join groups and network within those groups. NOTE: Don’t comment on posts or in chats where you have no clue what you’re talking about.

 

Job Search 101

 

Before you go down the “why me” path, you need to take a long look in the mirror and ask these questions…

  • What am I doing to find a job?
  • How much time and effort am I devoting to my job search?
  • What types of networking opportunities am I taking advantage of?

 

Asking these questions will help you to determine what you aren’t doing well, and how you can do things better. Are you only searching for job posts on one or two sites? Are you targeting individual companies, and if so, are you applying for jobs directly on their site? What about networking? Are you engaging in conversations on social media sites, or even attending job fairs? In today’s competitive job market, you need to be diligent in exploring as many paths as possible to find your next job.

 

The Interview

 

Your resume and networking strategies paid off- you scored an interview! How you look, speak, and act during the interview can and probably will, make the difference between getting an offer, or a “we went with another candidate” letter.

 

To prepare, study the company culture, including the position you’re interviewing for. Understand what the company does, who they deal with, and what expectations they have for your position. If you have a contact in the company, seek him out and ask a few questions so that you can dress appropriately, as well as can speak the company language during your interview.

 

Get your marketing tools ready. Have multiple copies of your resume ready to present to the interview committee, as well as copies of any credentials you may need for the job.  Practice answers to common interview questions, and be sure you have solid details to back your answers.

 

Before your interview date, map out your drive and ensure that you allow for rush hour traffic, trains, construction, etc.  Being late for an interview is never acceptable and shows irresponsibility and lack of potential right from the get-go.  When you arrive, greet the receptionist with a smile and a firm handshake.

 

During the interview, listen carefully to all questions before you answer. If you get a “stumper” (and you will), don’t get flustered! Take a deep breath and think before you answer. Be able to have concrete details of why you are the best candidate for the job, and speak to the credentials on your resume to reiterate your most important qualifications and achievements.

 

Follow up with a thank you note addressed directly to the person(s) you interviewed with. Even if you feel the interview didn’t go as well as you had hoped, you’re always leaving a good final impression when you send a thank you.

 

Searching for a job isn’t easy, but it doesn’t have to be hard, either. Listen to colleagues, career coaches, and HR friends-find out what did/did not work for them and see what you can incorporate into your job search strategy. Having a solid job search strategy, putting in time and effort, and networking within your industry will set you right on your way to that new job, and hopefully a great new career.

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resumes that get you hiredNavigating today’s demanding and ever-changing job market is tough—no matter what age you are. If you’re 50 or over, however, learning the ropes can be even more of a challenge. It’s highly likely that it’s been years upon years since you last searched for a job, and the market has changed tenfold since you were in this position.How do you navigate this strange new territory?How do you reach out to the people you want to hire you?Just what is the key to writing resumes that get you hired in today’s world?We have a few tips on things to avoid to help make your search easier.

 

Personal Stagnation

Regardless of age, it never hurts to learn new things—information, viewpoints and especially skills. Think about the skill set you have now. How well does it sync up with the job listings you’ve seen this decade? Are there any skills you’ve seen that have stumped you, or that you know you have no idea how to perform? Don’t let this become a detriment to you and hurt your chances of getting hired!While you’re searching for a new career, it would serve you well to start looking into expanding your skill set by taking some adult educational classes. If you aren’t good with computers and other electronic devices, now is the time to learn. If you need to be familiar with a certain kind of software to qualify for the positions you’re seeking out, consider seeing if your nearest learning center has classes for it.

A Lacking LinkedIn

You’ve very likely heard of LinkedIn at some point during your professional career. It’s a business-oriented social networking site and has become increasingly important in recent years. Most professionals today use it to network with other people in their industry, meaning if you don’t have a LinkedIn account of your own, you’ll want to invest some good old time and effort into putting one together and keeping it active and updated.You never know who might notice you on LinkedIn, especially since so many of today’s hiring managers use the site to find potential candidates. If you can’t make heads or tails of LinkedIn, you can even hire a professional LinkedIn profile writer to lend you a hand.

Ego Trouble

Because you’ve been in the workforce for so long, especially as a senior-level professional, you’ve racked up a lot of accomplishments. While this is certainly commendable and even worth acknowledgment, you should keep in mind that by looking for new work, you’re much closer to square one than it may seem. Be humble about your skills, and don’t limit yourself as far as the positions you can acquire. Similarly, you don’t want to be too meek and cheat yourself out of a great position. Simply communicate, connect with every fellow professional you meet and don’t let your personal opinions get in the way of your search.

 

And don’t forget you can always rely on a professional resume writing service for help with your job search and to help you maneuver through today’s job market!

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professional executive resume writersMake no mistake about it: job boards are a thing of the past. In the past, you may have posted your resume on a job board and had a reasonable shot at getting a new job opportunity; however, the way skilled workers find jobs has changed. The vast majority of these boards have become black holes for your executive bio and resume.

Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and, most notably, LinkedIn are beginning to make traditional job boards obsolete. Recently, around 2-4% of people posting resumes on a traditional job board found employment. Individuals employing networking tactics on various social media sites found a career 40-50% of the time.

We’re not mathematicians, but it seems like networking is just a little bit more successful for most seeking employment. If you look at things from a recruiter’s or hiring manager’s standpoint, we can see why. Would you rather hire someone you only know from a piece of paper or an individual who has been personally recommended to you by someone you know and respect?

Your job search doesn’t have to be rocket science. Here are a few more reasons why traditional job boards don’t work:

  • The Black Hole

Companies get hundreds, if not, thousands, of responses to online job board postings. Then they send every resume to a system that reviews and ranks their skills, experience and more. The hiring manager only looks through the top 10-20% of resumes sent in. The vast majority of resumes never even see human eyes when you submit via a job board.

  • Not the Best Gigs

Most of the best jobs never even hit the jobs boards. Many hiring managers have stopped posting on these boards altogether. Companies have started using recruiters and networking to find the right type of talent without having to spend days under hundreds of resumes.

  • The Wrong People

When you submit your executive profile to a job board, you’re not putting your information in front of any decision makers whatsoever. Your resume ends up in front of a lackey whose job is to reject you for any reason. If you want to get in touch with someone who can make a decision, you’re much better off using social media sites and developing your networking skills.

  • LinkedIn is King

If you get a hiring manager to speak honestly, they prefer to find candidates through LinkedIn more than any other way.  LinkedIn is up-to-date and current. Successful employees use LinkedIn to further their career. People with decision-making power know this. That’s why they use the site to find the people they really want to hire before aggressively pursuing the candidate.

Getting Back in the Game?

Are you looking for employment? Ready to dust off the ole’ executive bio and profile? If so, you’ll want to be on the top of your game. It’s a competitive job marketplace out there, it’s important to give yourself an edge whenever you can. Successful job seekers know how to work their network and find the best job.

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do job fairs still work?

With all kinds of action happening online these days, many job seekers decide that the local job fairs are a waste of time. But, really, attending the local job fairs is one of the most effective things you could do if you do it right. Here’s why:

Networking

A job fair is the best chance you have to meet face to face with the people who will evaluate your resume before you submit it. What’s more, you can hand that resume to them and they have a person to remember when they read it. It’s a great opportunity to connect with people who you know are looking for the right candidate to fill a position, because if they didn’t need to hire more people, they wouldn’t be at the job fair. What’s not to like about that?

But you’ll need to treat it as carefully as you would treat an interview:

  • Do your homework and know something about the companies that will be at the job fair
  • Dress as you would for an interview, being well-groomed and professional in appearance
  • Carry a business-like tote or briefcase for all the stuff you’ll collect
  • Carry a folio of resumes printed out to hand to recruiters
  • Attend workshops being offered
  • Be prepared to take notes at workshops and when meeting people so you remember details
  • Relax and enjoy the event

Hand Out Professional Resumes

A professional resume doesn’t have to be one that’s written by a professional, but it should look like it. Using a template for your resume means your resume will look like everybody else’s and why should anybody remember which one is yours? You have more to offer than a cookie-cutter template of a resume, and it is worth the investment to do it.

You can start by looking at the category of Resume Writing on this blog. There are many other resources, too. The thing to remember is that actually handing a well-written resume to a recruiter at a job fair will impress twice–once when you hand it over in person and again when they read it.

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predictive analytics and your career

“While not new, predictive analytics is an important factor in assessing a candidate’s fit and potential. What is new is its accelerating use in corporate America as a means to filter candidates in and out of consideration long before any personal assessment is made.” — Lou Adler

Lou Adler is a regular contributor to LinkedIn and has so much experience and authority in his perspective on the hiring process that it is worth taking the time to understand what he says about the way Big Brother is Now Determining Your Hirability. Today, a person seeking a position is filtered by all that is in their resume, and all that is in their online brand as well. There’s a list of characteristics that fit into a pattern; the pattern of the Achiever.

Here is what the “Achiever Pattern” that many companies look for consists of:

  • lower turnover with growing responsibility
  • quality of the years of experience rather than number of years
  • quickly being assigned (or volunteering) for important projects and/or teams
  • demonstrating same patterns of initiative & responsibility in every position
  • rehiring and being rehired by past co-workers
  • participation in expanding cross-functional teams

Why Are Certain Qualities Desirable?

If you look at the Achiever Pattern’s overall impression, you see someone who is willing and able to work within any setting and maximize the potential. They are good to work with, as evidenced by the fact they hire past co-workers and are hired by people who have worked with them in the past. There’s a pattern there of more than a self-centered trampling on the way to a shinier inflated ego — the achievement they consistently reach is an achievement that is good for everyone.

If you don’t have these qualities, you may be filtered out of the running before you ever get to the interview. It may be a good idea to carefully look at your resume and online presence and see how accurately they are portraying your own achievements. LinkedIn profile development has never been more important than it is today because it reveals a pattern that your next employer uses to predict your hirability.

 

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6 ways to turn your social media savvy into a career
Did you know that many businesses are looking for someone to be their Social Media Manager? It’s true — because social media is fast becoming an essential part of marketing and customer relations, companies need somebody to devote a lot of time to doing it right. Scarlett Wilson recently shared the Top 6 Skills Employers Look For In A Social Media Manager on B2C (Business 2 Community) and the list is worth considering:

  1. Experience in using social media tools — the more, the better.
  2. An analytical mind-set — the ability to use analytical tools to interpret data and explain what the numbers really mean.
  3. Ability to plan long-term social media strategies — understanding your particular market and trends, etc.
  4. Ability to write quality content — this is crucial because search engines increasingly look for relevancy, and people insist on it.
  5. Additional digital marketing skills — blog writing, keyword optimization, formatting, or anything in this category should be on your resume because they are in demand.
  6. Communication skills — because social media is all about communication. So is business, actually.

Social Media Skills Are Marketable

It used to be that things like LinkedIn Profile Development were considered to be a good networking device for an individual career and that was all. Most business owners didn’t think about their business social media development unless reputation management became an issue. But today the reality of internet marketing means social media has to be an integral consideration.

If your company doesn’t do any social media marketing, and you have these skills, you could be able to convince your boss that it would be good to let you start doing something in this field. If you are looking for a job, make sure that you have any social media skills listed in your resume and can explain why they are there.

An old-school employer may not understand why it’s important until they are shown some facts. Any employer who is at all concerned about the company’s internet presence will be very interested in what you have to offer.

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