“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

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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!

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!

 

 

Building a Credible LinkedIn Profile – and Using it To Move Your Career Forward

Job SearchLinkedInNetworking

“Are you on LinkedIn?” “Can I connect with you through LinkedIn?” “Message me on LinkedIn, and we will set up a time to talk.”  Have you heard any of these phrases in your professional conversations over the past few years? They make a point…if you aren’t on LinkedIn AND actively engaging and networking on the site, then you probably either don’t have a great LinkedIn profile, or you are not using the site and all of its features to enhance your career.

Today’s executives are constantly on the move.  If you’re an exec who is trying to increase organizational revenue, improve operating efficiency, or even build your individual value proposition for your next career move, being active on LinkedIn will benefit you in all of these areas.  When creating a strong presence on LinkedIn and using it to your advantage through connecting and networking with the right people and groups, you will find that moving your career and/or business forward is easier than you thought.  Here are a few quick tips on how to use LinkedIn to get you seen, heard, and respected in your professional circles:

Building Your Profile:

LinkedIn has so many features and options – it can truly be overwhelming.  But it doesn’t have to be!  Building your profile to effectively market you and the value you can provide must be done creatively and strategically to show that you are at the top of the game in your field.

  • Fill your profile out completely. Try to put information in as many sections that are applicable to you.
  • Add relevant credentials after your name at the top of your profile. If the job or board position you’re vying for recommends an MBA and you have the credential after your name, then the reader does not have to go through the entire profile to find out that you have achieved this level of expertise.
  • Use keywords or skills in your headline and not just a job title. This not only shows your creativity but is also a strong strategy for being found through SEO searches.
  • Be sure your profile photo is current and professional looking. Upload a customized banner to add some pizzazz to your profile – having the common LinkedIn blue banner just doesn’t cut it.
  • Don’t just write a small paragraph in the “About” Instead, use this space (2,600 characters) to introduce yourself to the reader using descriptive keywords, a few quantifiable career highlights, a bulleted list of skills, etc. You can really get some bang for your buck if you can craft an innovative and clever career summary for this section.
  • Be sure your work experience is consistent with the experience outlined on your resume (dates, titles, achievements, etc.). Inconsistencies between the two documents (yes, hiring managers do check) will either show a lack of attention to detail or that you are being less than honest. Either way, your credibility with the reader just took a nose-dive.
  • Only include relevant education College degrees and professional development or training activities are great but including your high school years are not.
  • Certifications and licenses matter, especially if you don’t have a college degree! So many people forget to add their certifications to their profiles.
  • Memberships in professional organizations can be key in showing that you have been active on corporate boards or are involved in groups within your industry. Many corporations are also interested in candidates who are service-minded within their communities, so including recent volunteer work is also good to include on your profile.
  • Including your skills is imperative! If you are unsure of the skills that are best in your field, LinkedIn will suggest some for you! Again, this is another section where you need to be creative and strategic.  Instead of “Operations”, put “Operations Management” as an entry in this section. Be sure to “pin” your top three skills so the reader can see what you excel at the most at a quick glance.

These are just a few ideas that will help you to build a strong LinkedIn profile.  However, you’re not done yet, because building a profile is only the first step in showing your credibility in your field. The next step is to be active on the site.

Networking and Engaging on LinkedIn:

You can connect with hundreds of colleagues and friends on LinkedIn, but if you are not actively engaging and networking on the site, your connections really aren’t going to be of any significance in helping to amplify your value proposition or your credibility for what you do.

  • Give and ask for recommendations. You don’t need a ton of them – but a few key recommendations from supervisors, clients, board, members, etc. can really help to vouch for who you are, your expertise, how you lead, and the value you can provide in your field.
  • Connect with key people in your field. Yes, you will have colleagues and old friends who may want to connect with you, and that’s okay.  But LinkedIn isn’t about the quantity of connections you have. It’s more about the quality of your connections.
  • Join industry-specific groups and follow their pages. Watch for posts and other publications that are of interest to you and add your two cents of expertise by commenting on the posts. If you’re in an active job search, this is also an ideal way to see what opportunities are available in your field, especially if you’re targeting a specific company.

In today’s professional (and unpredictable) world, being on LinkedIn is crucial.  Making your presence strong and credible is even more important.  Build your profile and connections, and then network and engage on a daily basis, or as often as you can to show who you are, what you have achieved, and the credibility and value you offer in your field. You won’t be sorry and may even snag the career opportunity of your dreams!