Don’t Give Up The Job Search Just Because The Holidays Are Near

Job Search

I’ve been talking with job seekers lately who ask whether they should job search right now or wait until after the New Year.

The holidays are upon us and many worry it isn’t a good time.🎅

But–there are many benefits to continuing on with your job search.

🎄 𝐂𝐨𝐦𝐩𝐚𝐧𝐲 𝐛𝐮𝐝𝐠𝐞𝐭𝐬. Companies have new budgets in place to entice and hire #candidates. They are still #hiring and actively looking.

🎄 𝐌𝐢𝐧𝐢𝐦𝐚𝐥 𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐩𝐞𝐭𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧. Your competition is less since many people decide to hold off until the new year. Plus, you will impress companies with your dedication and commitment.

🎄 𝐌𝐨𝐫𝐞 𝐭𝐢𝐦𝐞. Things are winding down at your company due to the holidays and end of the year, so you have more time to focus on #job search

🎄 𝐏𝐞𝐨𝐩𝐥𝐞 𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐢𝐧 𝐠𝐨𝐨𝐝 𝐦𝐨𝐨𝐝𝐬. People are generally in better moods around the holidays. More time off, seeing family and friends (via remotely this year, unfortunately), shopping, and reflection. It’s a perfect time to reach out and start a #conversation.

I asked career professionals on LinkedIn what their thoughts were on the subject. Read what they have to say:

Hannah Morgan, Job Search Strategist, Career Sherpa:  November and December are great months for conversations and you are so right, many companies are either trying to fill roles that are still vacant now or line up candidates to hire Jan. 1. Don’t put on the brakes!

Ed Han, Talent Acquisition Geek, Recruiter:  As a corporate recruiter: let me reassure your readers & followers that if the job posting is up, I AM READING APPLICATIONS.
Scheduling interviews may take longer, but if it’s open, that hiring manager has funds earmarked towards that hire and is anxious to use them, because they’ll get asked if they really need the position or not by their boss, or their boss’s boss.

Nicole Reyes, Sn. Technical Recruiter: I’ve noticed that many hiring managers want new hires to start in January of the new year, which means they’re willing to schedule interviews with candidates this time of year. It’s worth your time to search for a position during this period, even if the search is a bit slower because people will be out of the office more with the holidays.

Greg Roche, Career Transition Coach: Take your holiday card list and see who you can connect with in person. Send them a card too, but use this list as a way to get back in touch with people who are important to you, but likely haven’t talked to in a while. This helps you practice connecting and you never know where it might lead Erin.

Andrea Yacub Macek, Top Job Expert to Follow, Career Coach:  The best time to network, market, and job search is when you are ready to do so in your season of life. If you need to take a break, do so, and if you want to continue networking or job search, do so; there are always benefits. These are some significant reasons you asked Erin Kennedy to continue instead of stop.

Meg Applegate, Resume Writer, Hinge Resume: The holidays are a great time to check in with your network. Start conversations now, even if after the new year is your goal. You never know what can come of it,

Sarah Johnston, Executive Resume Writer, LinkedIn Branding: Great reminder, Erin Kennedy. Some managers have “use it or lose it” budgets and have positions that need to be filled before the end of the year.

Adrienne Tom, Executive Resume Writer: If a company really needs an employee, it doesn’t matter what time of year it is — they will be looking. Which means, you should be too.

Bottom line: Don’t give up. Keep looking. This is a GREAT time of year to look for a job. 🎄

 

 

 

Job Search Plans

Job Search

Does #cold calling a hiring manager cause you to hyperventilate? 😱


You’re not alone!

If you have a solid plan in place it can reduce anxiety, build your confidence, and increase your chances of success.

Here are some quick tips to get you there:

✔ 𝐑𝐞𝐬𝐞𝐚𝐫𝐜𝐡 the company. Learn about their mission, goals, and the type of employees they hire.

✔ 𝐃𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐥𝐨𝐩 your questions. Write them down. Read them out loud until you feel confident.

✔ Use your 𝐍𝐞𝐭𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐤. See if you have a connection that would make a recommendation to the #hiring manager. Someone who can drop a little seed in the mind of the person you’ll be talking to.

✔ 𝐎𝐫𝐠𝐚𝐧𝐢𝐳𝐞 your data. Use a spreadsheet to track phone numbers, dates, messages left, and notes.

✔ 𝐖𝐫𝐢𝐭𝐞 your script. Bullet point info to include experience and type of position you are seeking.

✔ 𝐏𝐫𝐚𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐜𝐞. This will increase your confidence. Record yourself. Make your main points in one minute. Practice your elevator pitch.

✔ 𝐓𝐢𝐦𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐝𝐚𝐲. Determine the best time to call, when people are less busy.

Having a plan increases your confidence, helps you feel prepared, and increases your chances of landing a job that much quicker.

“Remodeling” Your Career in 2022

Career & WorkplaceLinkedInResumes

Today, while mindlessly browsing through social media, I came across an article containing a list of home trends that “are on their way out”.  Since I have just recently updated several areas of my home, I was intrigued and moved forward with reading, hoping that one of my remodeling projects wasn’t on the “out” list. I had only read a few snippets of the article when my mind wandered back to work, and I thought about what types of job search and resume trends have also been sent to pasture over the years? The following are some of the “ins/outs” to be thinking about as you embark on your next career “remodeling” project.

Your Resume:

In: Career Summary

Out: Objective

Starting at the top of your resume with the word “Objective” that tells the reader what you are “seeking” in your next career move is a big no-no, and OMG, so bland and boring. Just don’t. Instead, craft a compelling, leadership-focused, and keyword-saturated career summary that packs a punch and pulls the reader in wanting to learn more about you.

In: Accomplishments

Out: Daily job responsibilities

While you were hired to do certain tasks, those are not all that should be on your resume. Today’s resumes need to be accomplishment- and not task-focused. Use your career history section to show readers the impact you made in your past roles. Did your efforts result in revenue generation? Improvements in efficiency/productivity? Sharing the results of your work on your resume only enhances the reader’s understanding of the potential you have and the value you can offer in future roles.

 

Your Online Persona:

In: Presence on LinkedIn

Out: No presence on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the world’s premier professional networking site for a reason – it works. Whether you’re actively seeking a new job or just trying to build your brand and connect with peers in your field, LinkedIn is where you need to be. Sign up for initial services is free, and if you need additional features and can afford them, LinkedIn has them ready for you. Be sure you fill out all relevant sections to build your profile, and make your content engaging so that it builds your brand appropriately and markets you for you jobs in your field.

 

Your Job Search Acumen:

In: Networking, Recruiters, Resume Distribution

Out: Sitting by the phone

So many of our clients tell us that they aren’t getting calls for interviews. So, we ask, what are YOU doing to put yourself out there as a viable candidate? Just applying for a job doesn’t always do the trick. You need to apply, follow-up, and keep looking until you start hearing back from companies and actually have interviews set up. Even if you get an interview scheduled-that doesn’t mean you’re going to get the job. It’s up to you to keep applying, networking, etc. until you land your dream job. Sitting by the phone day after day waiting for a call from the one company you applied to will only result in frustration and more than likely, no further along in your job search. Find a recruiter, network on professional sites like LinkedIn, and just get yourself out there. If you don’t know where to find a recruiter on your own, find a company that offers a resume distribution service where your resume can be sent out to literally thousands of recruiters in a matter of minutes.

YOU control the pace of your search and the number of places you apply. Make a list of companies and track when you applied, if you heard back, interview schedules, etc. If you are unemployed, your job search should be treated as a full-time job and deserves focus and time to get you to the next level.

 

Where to Find Jobs:

In: LinkedIn, Networking, Online Job Boards and Employment Sites

Out: One source shopping

Don’t just peruse your local newspaper (although many still do have a “Help Wanted” section) to look for jobs. Go online! Talk to your colleagues, family, and friends. Ask if they know of openings! Look on well-known job search sites and see what’s out there. Join groups and set-up alerts to be notified when a job that matches your skills/qualifications becomes available. LinkedIn has their own “Jobs” section to peruse. Use it to see what is available in your field/area. Have a specific company you’re targeting? Go directly to their website-you still may be redirected to another job search engine to apply, so make sure you apply per their instructions. If a job posting says “don’t call”, then don’t call. Always follow the application directions, because if you don’t, you may eliminate your candidacy up front. If you don’t have access to the internet, go to the library and use their tools/internet to look for jobs-just remember to completely logout out of any public computer so your personal information is not compromised.

 

Your Ability to Navigate the Job Market:

In: Knowing someone on the inside.

Out: What you know and what you have done will automatically get you in the door for an interview.

You have heard the saying “It’s not always what you know, sometimes it’s who you know…”? People would not still be repeating this phrase in the job market if there wasn’t some truth to it. In today’s competitive job market, many companies have a candidate in mind even before they post a job. YOU want to try to be that candidate. If you have a friend or former co-worker on the inside of a company you’re targeting, reach out to them. If they can give you some inside information to get you in the door – that’s great. Just be sure your contact has a good reputation with the company leadership. Otherwise, your credibility as a viable candidate may have just gone out the window.

As you are “remodeling” your career path, be sure the tools you are using and trends you are following are not outdated, so that you can optimize the time and effort you are putting forth as you pursue your dream job. If you are struggling with your career remodeling project, hire a professional. You would do it for your home improvement projects–why not for your career improvement projects?

 

 

Out With the Old and In with the New…LinkedIn Job Search Tips for 2022

Job SearchLinkedInSocial Marketing/Online Branding

If you’re planning on starting a new job search in 2022, you need to know that how you search for a job has changed greatly over the years. Whether you’re a new grad, management professional, seasoned executive, or C-Suite office holder, you need to ensure that you have the “dos” and “don’ts” of today’s job search necessities down to a science BEFORE you start your search. One necessary tool for today’s jobseekers is having an optimized LinkedIn profile! A few easy “dos” and “don’ts” to consider when preparing your LinkedIn profile for a job search….

URL:

  • DO customize your URL and put a link to your profile on your resume. If your name is already taken, use a middle initial, special numbers, or a credential to make your URL unique.
  • DON’T use the URL that LI assigns you when you create your initial profile.

PROFILE BANNER:

  • DO have a customized banner at the top of your profile. There are plenty of free sites to create a banner on, or, if you aren’t into doing your own thing, hire a designer to create one for you. This is where you can show a little personality on your profile while still looking like a professional.
  • DON’T use the LI default banner or your current company logo – if you are in a job search.

PROFILE PHOTO:

  • DO post a recent, professional-looking headshot of you (and ONLY you) in the photo.
  • DON’T post of photo of you cropped out of a group photo at an event or a photo of you from 20+ years ago – you don’t want to see shocked faces when you arrive for your interview!

NAME:

  • DO display your name as it appears on your resume and what you go by in the workplace. Add any relevant credentials after your name.
  • DON’T use a nickname or outdated maiden name just because that’s the name you had when you created your original profile.

HEADLINE:

  • DO create a branding statement for the top of your resume and in the headline section of your LI profile. Use descriptive, high-impact, and industry-specific keywords to communicate your brand. You have 220 characters to brand yourself here – make them count!
  • DON’T use your current job title (LI default) in your headline – ugh…so boring!

ABOUT:

  • DO include a targeted, keyword-saturated career summary at the beginning of your resume and in your LinkedIn profile (About) section. Remember to write toward the job/industry you’re targeting. You have 2,600 characters to write your story – use them to your advantage!
  • DON’T bypass this section – and don’t just make it paragraphs of boring text – readers will lose interest in you and your qualifications immediately. Use bullets to separate sections that give a brief synopsis of your skills, experience, and achievements. Show the value YOU can offer in one quick read!

EXPERIENCE:

  • DO put your most up to date and relevant information on your resume and LinkedIn profile. Include achievements in bullet lists and job titles that are in line with what is on your resume.
  • DON’T include your entire career history-only jobs that are relevant to your current career goals. Stay away from posting proprietary or confidential information in this section.

EDUCATION:

  • DO include all of your relevant degrees. Undergraduate, graduate, post-doctoral, etc.
  • DON’T include the years if you graduated 10+ years ago, or information about what you did in college unless it is pertinent and relevant.

LICENSES/CERTIFICATIONS:

  • DO list certifications/licenses that are relevant to your career goals. If you are currently in the process of getting a certification/license, then just add it with the expected date of receiving the credential.
  • DON’T list actual license numbers (hello identity fraud???) on LI or include outdated information that is no longer active (unless it matters if you had it in the past).

SKILLS:

  • DO use industry-specific keywords/skills on this list. Be descriptive and ensure that your skills are in line with your level, job skills, experience, etc. “Pin” your top 3 skills at the beginning of this section. LI does this automatically – you need to ensure that the top 3 are truly, well, the top 3!
  • DON’T list bland words like “Leader” or “Projects”. Focus on stronger terms – “Executive Leadership” or “Project Management”.

PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS:

  • DO include your memberships in professional organizations (especially in industry-specific organizations). List your role in each organization (Member, Board Member, Committee Chair, etc.).
  • DON’T list organizations that you haven’t been affiliated with for years.

VOLUNTEER WORK:

  • DO include recent volunteer work or past work that may be relevant to your current job search goals. Include any leadership positions with organizations or special events you chaired.
  • DON’T put in volunteer work from 20+ years ago or if it was an event that was a one-hour commitment!

ADDITIONAL SECTIONS:

  • DO look at all the additional sections LI offers (Patents, Projects, Honors/Awards, Courses, Publications, Languages, etc.).
  • DON’T add a section just to add a section. You want to have relevant and informative content on your profile – not uninformative fluff that takes up space.

RECOMMENDATIONS:

  • DO give/request recommendations from clients, colleagues, supervisors, etc. Encourage those giving you recommendations to make them achievement/leadership-focused, so that the best you have is what they are talking about. You should have recommendations that are as current as possible.
  • DON’T use recommendations that are filled with typos or information that is outdated/unmeaningful.

SETTINGS:

  • DO check your settings and ensure that they are aligned with how you want to be seen, who you want to be able to see you, etc.
  • DON’T turn your profile completely off to public viewing. What’s the point of being on LI if nobody can see you?

DO make the profile unique to YOU. Make sure you can back up all the information you have put out there during an interview, and ultimately on the job for your next employer. DON’T take information from a friend’s or colleague’s profile or include skills/achievements that you can’t own. Your LinkedIn profile is a living document – keep it current and fresh. Finally – you have optimized the information on your profile, now you need to network! Engage with others by posting and commenting to get your name/profile seen by more people!

Tips to Negotiate a Raise

Guest PostsSalary

Asking your boss for a raise can be one of the most anxiety-inducing things you ever do at your job. Because of how nerve-wracking it is, many people wait too long to get the raise they deserve. Too many people fail to understand that there’s no reason to be anxious about asking for a raise, especially if you’ve been working hard and helping the company grow. However, there are some ways to ask for a raise that are better than others and have a higher likelihood of getting you what you deserve.

Even if your manager praises you daily, you’ll still need to give them a reason why you deserve more money, and you should be prepared to negotiate your rate. Here’s tips on how to ask your boss for a raise.

Collect Feedback

Your resume has changed since you applied for your current position. As you’ve worked for  the company  many years, you’ve picked up new skills and found new ways to help the business expand. Whether you have quarterly or annual performance reviews, the odds are you’ve received positive feedback since your last review. Keep all the praise you receive  organized, so you can use it to build your case for why you deserve a raise.

You should also give yourself an evaluation. Make a list of all you’ve accomplished for the business. If anything goes above and beyond your job duties, make a note of what it is and how often you do it. You should also add any long hours you’ve worked to the list and include everything from your managers’ reviews to coworkers’ feedback.

Have Data Prepared

People respond best to facts and data. If you want a raise, you’ll need to bring numbers to the table. Now that you have a list of all of your accomplishments, try to add details by adding numbers when possible. You can even use invoices to track your pay stubs.

For example, if your department benefitted from your work, try to include how they benefited, such as an increased rate of productivity or time and cost savings. Be as specific as possible. If you increased sales by a certain percentage or led a team who did, add that to your list. Bringing  details to the conversation gives proof as to why you deserve a bump in pay.

Consider the Future

Employees ask for raises because they have a track record of working hard and succeeding. However, managers and bosses need to know you’re looking for an opportunity to grow within the company, and not just for the money. When you ask for a raise, consider talking about next steps, more responsibility, or what is necessary to rise to the next level. You can also come prepared with a detailed explanation of where you see yourself within the company and where you want to go in the future.

Check the Handbook

Knowing when to ask for a raise can help you be successful in getting gone. For example, an upcoming performance review allow you to advocate for yourself to HR or the business owner so you can get a raise exactly during a time when the company is considering your future with them.

Your employee handbook will give you an idea about how raises and promotions are handled within your company. While these career milestones can happen at any time, they typically happen during performance reviews, which allow you to prepare for the right moment to ask for a raise.

Give Them a Number

Asking for a raise and not knowing how much you want or need to stay with the company can be detrimental to your cause. If you want a raise, you should have a number in mind—determining the amount and sharing it with  your boss is the reason why many people have anxiety in these situations. However, if you have done your research and know your value, as well as your contributions to the company, you feel confident in what you think is fair, and, you’ll have a higher chance of success.

Don’t forget, your boss may  try to negotiate. So be prepared to compromise. Consider other non-monetary perks, such as vacation, education benefits, etc. air rate would be by 10%.

Book a Time

This is not a discussion that you want to have in the hallway. Book a time with them when you know they’ll have nothing else on their mind. Consider the company schedule, as well as their responsibilities.

Practice

Asking for a raise can be intimidating, but the worst thing that can happen is being turned down. Most people will not get fired because they want more money. HR professionals expect that almost all employees will eventually ask for a raise or a promotion to improve their work/life balance.

By practicing with your friends and family, you can make the ordeal less stressful. You’ll be able to go into the meeting anticipating what your boss will ask or how they’ll reply to certain parts of the conversation.

 

Matt Casadona has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, with a concentration in Marketing and a minor in Psychology. Matt is passionate about marketing and business strategy and enjoys San Diego life, traveling, and music.

 

 

Is Your Executive Resume On Target?

Resumes

Are you thinking that 2022 is the year you really want to score that executive-level position with your company? Or for a completely new organization? Either way, you’re going to want to have your marketing tools ready for the new year-new job search adventure, and being able to present hiring managers and recruiters a targeted, executive-level resume is the first step in the process.

Whether you haven’t updated your resume in 20 years or two, it’s still necessary to take a long inventory of what is currently on the resume, what needs to be added, and what you can do to make it better. Here are a few tips to get you started…

THE BASICS:

Everybody knows that you should have your contact information, work experience, and education on your resume. However, this information still needs to be strategically written and displayed, so that it stands out and doesn’t just look like a pile of information you quickly plopped on a piece of paper.

  • In your contact information, include your name (professional), relevant credentials (CPA, MBA, PhD, etc.), phone number (mobile is preferred), email address (personal-not work or school email), and your location (city/state is sufficient). Your name should be bigger and stand out more than the rest of your information, which should be displayed professionally, either after or underneath your name. Include the word “LinkedIn,” and link your resume to your online profile, if, and only if, your online profile is complete and optimized for your new job search. (It needs to send the same message as your resume.)
  • Your career history needs to start out with a strong title. PLEASE do not use the words “work” or “employment” in your title. Think of how an executive would talk about his/her career. “Professional Experience,” “Career Narrative,” or “Career Chronology” are some other options. Write this section so that it is keyword-saturated, achievement-focused, and achievements are quantified where possible. If you were a sales leader or in a position where you made an impact in growing business or revenue, this is your opportunity to share this information! Use creative/colored bullet symbols to separate your achievements, and ensure that your job titles and years in each position are accurate.
  • If you are a new graduate, your education information can be listed at the top of your resume. If you are NOT a new graduate, this section should follow your career history and, depending on how long ago you graduated, you may want to leave the years out of this section. If you make the title “Education & Credentials” (or something of that nature), you can also include any relevant certifications and professional development/training here.

THE EXECUTIVE NEEDS:

Now that you have the basics started, there are other things you need to include in your resume to tell your story, appeal to the reader, and ultimately market yourself effectively for the job you’re vying for.

Career Summary

  • Use industry-specific keywords and powerful descriptors to paint a brief introductory picture of who you are, what you have done, and the value you can provide in an executive-level role.

Branding

  • Branding is KEY! Come up with a branding statement or at least some type of title at the top of your career summary, so that the reader knows immediately what level you’re at (or want to be at).
  • What are you known for? What are you good at? What do you love to do? What do you want to continue to do in your next role?
  • You could also just use a few key terms or even multiple titles (COO, CFO, etc.) to show the reader this information.

Career Highlights

  • If you want to communicate some of your best career successes, adding a “Career Highlights” section just before your employment history is a great idea. Include 3-5 bullets of your biggest career achievements (successful programs you’ve implemented, process improvements, cost reductions); anything that shows where your leadership resulted in a positive outcome for a client or an organization.
  • Think “results-rich” statements when you are deciding on what to add. Think METRICS. Where did you generate millions in cost savings? What strategies or deep dives did you conduct to see where there were holes and money drains?

Soft Skills

  • How are your problem-solving skills? Do you shine when listening and communicating to your team? Are you good at critical thinking? What about conflict management? Don’t underestimate the power of your soft skills. Companies are hungry for that balance.

Board Leadership & Affiliations

  • Companies want to hire executives who have industry knowledge and can work with Boards of Directors and/or other c-suite teams. Include your memberships in professional organizations, as well as any board experience you have (paid/volunteer).

Pandemic Information

  • How were you able to flex and adapt during the pandemic? What changes have you made, contributed to, or implemented relating to the pandemic? What role did you lay?

Format

  • Want to level up? Then you better level up the look of your resume. Your format needs to stand out just like your content, so PLEASE, do not do a simple black/white, 12-point Times Roman font for your entire resume! Add some pizzazz! A little bit of color goes a long way in getting your resume to stand out in the pile–and is also very appealing to the eye.

Additionally, including language proficiencies (if you’re seeking a global position), honors, awards, publications, etc., anything that can help the reader to truly get to know you in the brief few seconds taken to scan the resume.

These are just a few things you can do to ensure that your resume is on target to give a strategically written chronology of exactly who you are, what you have accomplished, and the value you can provide in an executive-level position in 2022.

Does Your Resume Match The Position Description?

Resume Keywords

I recently spent some time picking the brains of two hiring managers.

We got to talking about jobseekers, resumes, approaches to resumes, what they looked for in a resume, and job descriptions.

Something they both mentioned as a common frustration is when the candidate’s resume doesn’t match the position they are interviewing for. The job is for a VP of Product Development, but you have spent your career in procurement.

They understood that sometimes people want to transition out of what they are doing. They want to change industries, change positions, want to do something different, or just do something they’ve always been interested in.

But if that’s what you want to do, you need to make a case for yourself.

Prove to the hiring manager why you are the right fit even if your experience has been slightly different. Don’t make them search for it–because they won’t.

Do you have what they need?🤔

Many of my clients and the jobseekers I talk to struggle with what should be on their resume. Do they add ALL of their information? Older info as well, if it was relevant to the role? Less? More? Help!!!

Here are some things to consider when drafting your resume:

✅ 𝗥𝗘𝗟𝗘𝗩𝗔𝗡𝗖𝗘. First, do you really have the experience the position asks for? Be honest with yourself. You don’t want to waste your time or the hiring manager’s time if you really don’t have experience (or transferable skills) in that role. If yes, add examples of what you’ve done. If not, don’t fake it. Leave it off and lead with other experiences.

✅ 𝗞𝗘𝗬𝗪𝗢𝗥𝗗𝗦. Examine the description and notice the words they use over and over. This tells you that those words will most likely be keywords ATS will look for. Does your resume have those keywords? You can sprinkle them throughout your resume, but keep your focus on “above the fold”. This is the area that when someone is reading a document on a computer screen, the words above the bottom of the screen are what stand out first. Many times, if what is above the fold doesn’t interest/pertain to them and what they need, they’ll move on.

✅ 𝗦𝗞𝗜𝗟𝗟 𝗦𝗘𝗧. What skills do you offer the role? Each of us has a unique skill set we bring to the job. Great at relationship building? Expertise in vendor negotiations? Specialize in cybersecurity? Again, refer to the position description. What skills of yours do you see in that description? You may have more than you realize. There may be things you do every day that pertain to that new role. Make sure to add these things to your resume, as well.

✅ 𝗩𝗔𝗟𝗨𝗘. What value do you offer? How can you help the company? In what ways have you achieved success? Use quantitative examples where possible. What awards have you received? What results have you produced?

Offer proof by adding numbers $ or percentages % wherever possible.

It’s not impossible to switch careers mid-career. When you have the skills that the role calls for, make sure they are easy to find on your resume. That will make the decision to call you in for an interview that much easier.

Making Your LinkedIn Profile Uniquely YOU!

LinkedInSocial Marketing/Online Branding

Searching for a new job or have your eye on moving up to the next level with your current employer? You never know when an opportunity is going to present itself, so you need to be prepared!  One way to do so is to optimize your online presence, and LinkedIn is the premier site to showcase your experience, achievements, skills, and leadership acumen on a global scale.

Your LinkedIn profile should be one of the most utilized tools in your job search tool chest, so you need to ensure that it is sharp, fully optimized, and maintained well during your job search and beyond.

Depending on what type of device your profile is being viewed on (PC or mobile), the reader will only be able to see a fraction of your profile.  That fraction has to be creative and appealing enough to make the reader want to continue to learn more about you. Don’t know where to start? Right from the top!

Banner Photo:

  • LinkedIn automatically gives you a default banner when you sign up. Get rid of it!  This is the first place you have the opportunity to pull the reader in – be creative!  You can personalize the banner to show a little bit about yourself and/or use titles and keywords to help communicate your brand.  Have a special saying or motto that motivates you?  It can easily be included here. Use a website like Canva to design your own banner or hire someone to do it – either way – don’t use the default banner! #lame

Name/Credentials:

  • Your LinkedIn profile should have the same name that is on your resume, so that your name is consistently known by anyone who views your resume or online profile. Add any relevant credentials after your name, and try to ensure that you don’t use a nickname.

Profile Photo:

  • We all know that a lot of us don’t like advertising pictures of ourselves on social media – sorry, but on LinkedIn, people want to see YOU! Be sure to include a profile picture that is professional looking and done at a level that matches the position you’re seeking.  Executives should have a photo that looks like an executive and an entry level photo could probably be a more casual photo.

Stay away from photos where you have cropped yourself out of a group, at a bar/party, or have a lot of distractions in the background.  Again – people want to see YOU – not a backdrop from your trip to the Grand Canyon (unless you are a travel blogger – lol).

Headline:

  • When you sign up with LinkedIn, your current job title automatically defaults to this section. Change it as soon as you can. Your headline gives you 220 characters to share your value, expertise, and skills.  Done effectively, your headline can attract ATS systems and recruiters who are looking for candidates in your industry and is a very easy way to quickly tell people what you have to offer in your field. I like to add keywords and branding to it as well.

About:

  • Take some time to reflect about what you really want to communicate in this section. Don’t just add a one-liner and certainly do not make yourself sound desperate to find a job (even if you really are).  Like your headline, this is a great place to share your brand – so make it strategic, appealing, and value-added! As with your resume, the summary at the beginning of your LinkedIn profile should be strategically written, compelling, and a quick synopsis of the best you have to offer, your highlights, and even some of your skills.  Using bullets and color in this section will make it stand out more than just including paragraphs of text.

Consider adding a “call to action” at the end of the summary to let people know you are available for interviews or are actively looking for a new position. You have 2,600 characters in this section, but only the first few lines may show up when people are viewing your profile, and the key is getting the reader to click on the “more” to learn more about you. Make your first few lines appealing, inviting, and clear.

Skills:

  • The skills section is great but can also be a bit subjective. You need to add the skills that are the most relevant to your industry and position, whenever possible. Use strong keywords in this section, and make sure you are focusing on unique terms that make you stand out. “Staff Leadership & Development” sounds a lot better than “Leadership” and “Global Sales Operations Management” sounds way better than “Sales”.

As for the endorsements, this is where the section gets a little subjective. LI automatically puts the skills with the most endorsements at the top of the section; however, the top 3 skills are something you can…and should change, so that they are your strongest skills and the ones that are most relevant to your job search, regardless of the number of endorsements.

You have the option of including 50 terms in this list and that fills up pretty quickly – use the best fit and stay away from “fluff” terms that are expected in today’s professional world, like “Time Management” or “Team Player”.

These sections are just the tip of the iceberg in creating an amazing, optimized LinkedIn profile – but they are so important if you want to be “found” on LinkedIn, so you need to ensure that the content is unique to your job goals, industry-specific, and an effective marketing tool for your job search!